Two top Georgia elections officials are set to testify before the select committee investigating the January 6 riot at US Capitol.
Georgia Public Broadcasting reported that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the chief operating officer in that office Gabriel Sterling will headline the committee’s hearing on Tuesday, the panel’s fourth such public event.
Former president Donald Trump repeatedly pressured Georgia’s elected officials to overturn the presidential election results after Joe Biden became the first Democrat to win the state since Bill Clinton in 1992. Most infamously, Mr Trump called Mr Raffensperger and asked him to “find” 11,780 votes to overturn his loss in Georgia, since that was more vote than Mr Biden’s margin of victory.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry”, Mr Trump told Mr Raffernsperger on the call. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”
But Mr Raffensperger rebuffed the idea.
“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong”, he said.
The testimony comes after Mr Raffensperger beat Representative Jody Hice in the Republican primary last month despite Mr Trump’s endorsement of the latter candidate. Similarly, Governor Brian Kemp beat former Senator David Perdue, Mr Trump’s preferred candidate for governor.
Mr Sterling, for his part, spent much of the aftermath of the 2020 election and the leadup to the Georgia Senate runoff election denouncing threats to election workers.
“Mr President, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some”, he said in December 2020. “We’re investigating. There’s always a possibility, I get it, you have the right to go to the courts. What you don’t have is the ability to — and you need to step up and say this — is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”