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CNN Live Event/Special

Fourth January 6 Hearing Focuses On Trump's Intimidation Of State Officials. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 21, 2022 - 15:30   ET





JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: An upsetting and distressing day of testimony today, hearing the personal stories of election officials and workers from Georgia and from Arizona whose lives were up ended by Donald Trump, by his minions, by his mobs and by his election lies.

We heard details, Trump supporters descending upon their homes leveling hideous accusations, making obscene threats against them. And here we see members of the committee approaching the last two individuals who we heard testify, election workers, Shaye Moss and her mother, of course, Lady Ruby. That's Congresswoman Elaine Luria and Congressman Adam Kinzinger embracing them. And Abby, it was how anybody could hear what happened to these two women and think that the lies were no big deal or were perfectly appropriate, is beyond me

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It was, I think, today a picture of a campaign of lies and a campaign of terror that was carried out against a lot of people and Lady Ruby and her daughter Shaye Moss were just two examples of how this played out. Threats and harassment. But the key thing here was that it came from the president of the United States. It was so powerful to hear Ruby Freeman talk about how she felt tearfully. She lost her name. She lost her reputation. She couldn't go anywhere. Her daughter says she gained 60 pounds. She doesn't want to work. She feels responsible for the threats that were leveled against her.

They talked about Shaye Moss's grandmother whose house was broken into by Trump's mignons frankly, who were looking for Shaye and Lady Ruby and trying to make a, quote, citizen's arrest. It's chilling. And it's just some of the examples.

I mean, Rusty Bowers, we heard earlier today, from Arizona, talking about his terminally ill daughter who would hear people outside of their home threatening them.

TAPPER: She died of a terminal illness that month, January 2021.

PHILLIP: Brad Raffensperger's widowed daughter-in-law at home alone with her two children, with people outside of their home. This was a campaign of terror that came straight from the top. DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is. It's he

beyond comprehension, but I want to go back to Shaye and her mother Lady Ruby because it's not just plain old terror with the two of them. It was racist terror. The kind of language that people, including the former president were using about her, it wasn't even thinly veiled.

TAPPER: He called them hustlers.

BASH: Hustlers. Hustlers.

TAPPER: Rudy Giuliani compared the votes that they allegedly were hiding to drugs.

BASH: Yes. And let's be clear, these are people, and you heard at the beginning of her testimony, who were doing this because they believed that it is a calling. It is public service, to help out on election day, to help out with the pillar of democracy, especially for African Americans. Especially for African American women, who didn't have that opportunity for so long. And this country should be throwing a parade for election workers, not have the president of the United States start to use your term, a reign of terror against them.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: There were a couple of things. I confess, I started crying listening to her. To be scared to say your own name in public. Can you imagine? And Ruby Freeman's last words, there is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know what it's like to have the president of the United States target you? It was racist. It was chilling. And I just want to say, thank you to all election workers. Thank you to these state officials who were Republicans who stood up, who were threatened, whose families were threatened. They've been nothing short of extraordinary through this.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The mainstreaming of threats and violence will be a giant legacy of Donald Trump's big lie. It was a mainstream of Donald Trump's presidency. Threats against judges, threats against civil servants in this case, people who don't get paid a lot of money, who are doing the lord's work of democracy. You meet them when you travel. You asked them, how are the rules different here, how are the rules different there, they were great to us.

They don't get paid a lot of money, they don't get a lot of notarizing for what they do but they are the building blocks of our democracy. They keep it safe. They keep it secure. They keep it credible.


In this case they did in this election as Trump's own people said it was perhaps more secure than any election in the past because they were on overdrive because of the pandemic. They knew they were going to have issues. And so, they were ready.

But the mainstreaming of threats and violence, naming people publicly. The president of the United States knowing, knowing, there's just no way to not know the impact Donald Trump names somebody, he knows what's going to happen. He knows what's going to happen. And again, the fact that there are not more people in his party standing up to this saying we are making a clean break from this, it will not stand, as opposed to continuing to call him their leader, is ridiculous.

TAPPER: Yes, it's not just that. It's that you have here in Shaye Moss and Lady Ruby, two women who are literally protecting democracy. They are -- they are the guardians of democracy and it is not just that House Republicans and Senate Republicans with a few notable exceptions Kinzinger and Cheney and a few others, it's not just that they're not equal to them, they're actually on the other side. These women are protecting democracy. And most House Republicans, either through complicity or silence or active participation, are actually trying to undermine democracy. It is shocking.

BASH: And on that note, the fact that Shaye said that she left her job. She's no longer an election worker, and they put up pictures of all of the people who worked there and she said none of them is an election worker anymore. So, that speaks to what happened, but also what is going to potentially happen going forward. There are big elections in Georgia this November for the Senate, for the governor's mansion and then down ballot. And if you don't have people like Shaye doing those jobs, who is going to do those jobs?

PHILLIP: I do think that that is part of the intention here on the part of some of the people who carried this out. They want to run the good guys out of town --

BASH: Totally.

PHILLIP: -- so they can replace them with people who are pushing lies. Who are pushing conspiracy theories, pushing this idea that if they don't feel that it's right, you know, it doesn't feel right to them, but they can disregard the facts and do whatever they want in American elections. That's the dangerous part of all of this.

And then for this to happened -- I mean, look, this happened all over the country but the reason that I think Shaye Moss's testimony was so powerful in the state of Georgia, as Dana mentioned earlier, they know what it's like to not have the right to vote. And the right to vote in that state for black people in particular, was fought for and it was won and it was fought for by people who were willing to participate in the process.

She decided to participate in the process because her grandmother, who is old enough to remember when you couldn't vote in Georgia, told her that she should participate. Those elderly people that she helped get their absentee ballots, those people are old enough to remember when they couldn't vote. So, the point here is to run people like her and her mother out of town, out of this business, out of our elections, and to corrupt the entire institution from the ground up.

TAPPER: Truly an upsetting day of testimony -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: All right, Jake, thanks very much. In fact, I want to play some of what Shaye Moss said about the impact this has had on her life. Let's listen.


WANDREA "SHAYE" MOSS, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: I don't want anyone knowing my name. I don't want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. I don't go to the grocery store at all. I haven't been anywhere at all. I've gained about 60 pounds. I just don't do nothing anymore. I don't want to go anywhere. I second guess everything that I do. It's affected my life in a major way. In every way. All because of lies.


COOPER: Gloria Borger, I mean, to the point that Abby was making, this is part of a plan to get the Shaye Mosses, people who have been doing this a long time, out of the process and get others who are more pliable in.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Now I kept thinking throughout this hearing, which was so emotional in so many ways, that it's not only democracy any seems to be at stake here, but it's our humanity. I mean, yes, this is an issue about trying to steal an election. Donald Trump powering through every elected official he could. And today, we saw both from the officials, like Rusty Bowers, and then from Ruby and Shaye, you see it from the other side and the humanity of what happens when you are unfairly attacked and the mob goes after you. And your life is up ended all because you were trying to do your job.


And at one point, you know, Rusty Bowers, who I thought was just an incredible witness, he is clearly is a very religious person, and he teared up at one point and he said, it is a tenant of my faith that the constitution is divinely inspired and I would not do it.

COOPER: George Conway, you were clearly impacted by Rusty Bowers.

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER: I was impacted by Rusty Bowers. I was impacted by Shaye Moss and Lady Ruby. You know, I come here as a lawyer, right. And I want to make a list of all the different ways and all the different approaches that the committee has gone to show criminal intent of Donald Trump and his coconspirators. And you know, today, it's just, it was about the humanity. Today, to me, was the have you no decency moment of these hearings. They were like in the McCarthy era. It was like this shows the impact of the lies on individuals.

You know, it's one thing to talk about like Donald Trump told 30,000 lies in office. It almost becomes an abstraction. These are lies that are affecting -- you know, we saw that people died on Capitol Hill because of these lies. These people were just doing the right thing for democracy, and their lives are being upended.

You know, Rusty Bowers, I mean, he was -- he was put under just tremendous pressure to do something as a Republican, but he acted as a Christian and as an American citizen. And he put his morality first over his politics. As did these women from Georgia who, you know, they're just ordinary people. And the emotional impact on this, I think, shows why this -- we can't let this go. The people -- people like Bowers and people like Lady Ruby and Shaye Moss, these people need to be supported by all of us. And particularly by the people in power who are too terrified to speak out against Donald Trump.

COOPER: And Chris, I want to play something that Rusty Bowers said, Arizona House Speaker. He was questioned about, well, it's an incident of something Rudy Giuliani said in his presence. Let's play it.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Did one of them make a comment that they didn't have evidence but they had a lot of theories?


SCHIFF: What exactly did he say and how did that come up?

BOWERS: My recollection, he said we've lots of theories. We just don't have the evidence. And I don't know if that was a gaffe or maybe he didn't think through what he said, but both myself and others in my group, the three in my group, and my counsel, both remembered that specifically and afterwards, we kind of laughed about it.


CHRIS WALLACE: Well, you know, you laugh about it, but it's saying the quiet part out loud. That's what the whole effort of Donald Trump and his gang was, was we have a lot of theories, but we just don't have any evidence or facts to support it.

You know, I want to pick up on what George said, that you know, what struck me today, and I think it was clearly the most emotionally powerful day of the hearing so far, these were people who were just trying to do the right thing. You know, in the case of Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, two black women who wanted to help make it easier for people to vote. To exercise their right as Americans.

In the case of Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State, you know, he had this one line he said that, you know, the numbers, you know, the numbers were the numbers, and the numbers don't lie. He wasn't trying to spin it, he wasn't trying to push it to one side or the other. He was just trying to count the vote. What could be more elemental than that in democracy.

Then, you know, to me, Rusty Bowers was the most powerful person because what you saw was the simple plain-spoken devotion to the law and to the devotion to God. And you know, I'm going to date myself here. As I was watching him, I was thinking of movie heroes, people like Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" or Gregory Peck in "To Kill A Mocking Bird." Simple decent, plainspoken men who had a sense of morality and were just trying to live up to it. And you saw all of these four people I've mentioned, and Trump and his gang just rolled over them.

CONWAY: Democracy depends on these people.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Today was a day about violence. And it was about victim. But I would like to say something about the perpetrators of the violence. You know, we have thought that, you know, January 6th in American history is thought of as the day the Capitol was attacked. But the effort to overturn this election as we learned today was a lot more than January 6th. It was violence in Arizona, as we saw this morning. It was violence in Georgia. And it was violence earlier when they tried to kidnap the governor of Michigan. Right-wing violence in this country, it was the mass shooting in Buffalo, in El Paso, in Pittsburgh, and that is all part of what went on to them.

COOPER: We're going to take a short break. Still ahead we'll be joined by the January 6th committee member Congressman Adam Schiff. We'll get his first reaction to today's hearing, the testimony, his leading role in presenting the evidence. Stay with us.