Jan. 6 committee holds fourth hearing

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 11:34 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022
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2:37 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers describes "disturbing" protests outside his home

From CNN's David Shortell

Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona statehouse, gave emotional testimony Tuesday about the impact his role defying the scheme to overturn the election results in his state had on him and his family, describing "disturbing" protests outside his home and, at one point, reading a passage from his personal journal about friends who had turned on him. 

Appearing at the fourth public hearing of the House Select Committee, Bowers welled up as he discussed the impact protests at this house had on his wife and his daughter, who was at home gravely ill at the time and was "upset by what was happening outside."

"It is the new pattern or a pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays because we have various groups come by," Bowers said. "They had video panel trucks with video of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician."

On one occasion, Bowers said, the protesters included an armed man who appeared to be associated with the far-right militant group the Three Percenters.

"There was one gentleman that had the three bars on his chest and he had a pistol and was threatening my neighbor," Bowers said.

Earlier, reading from a December 2020 entry he’d made in his personal journal, Bowers grew emotional as he described losing friends as a result of his position and how his faith helped him make decisions.

"It is painful to have friends who have been such a help to me turn on me with such rancor," Bowers said.

"I may, in the eyes of men, not hold correct opinions or act according to their vision or convictions, but I do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner, or a vengeful manner. I do not want to be a winner by cheating," he said.

Hear Bowers read his diary entry from December 2020 amid Trump’s pressure campaign:

2:27 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

"Just do it and let the courts figure it all out": Bowers says Trump lawyer pushed him to decertify electors

Rusty Bowers speaks to the committee on Tuesday.
Rusty Bowers speaks to the committee on Tuesday. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers told the Jan. 6 House select committee that former Trump attorney John Eastman asked him to "decertify the electors" — and Bowers refused.

Bowers said it would be "counter to my oath." 

"I said, 'what would you have me do?' And he said, 'just do it and let the court sort it out.' And I said, 'you're asking me to do something that's never been done in history — the history of the United States — and I'm going to put my state through that without sufficient proof? And that's going to be good enough with me? That I would put us through that? My state? That I swore to uphold both in constitution and in law? No sir,'" Bowers said.

"He said 'well ... my suggestion would be just do it and let the courts figure it all out. And he didn't use that exact phrase, but that was what he, his meaning was. And I declined, and I believe that was close to the end of our phone call," Bowers said.

Bowers also said he told former President Donald Trump a few days earlier that he would not do anything illegal for him.

2:23 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

Jan. 6 committee plays new video of "QAnon Shaman" at Arizona state Capitol

From CNN's Hannah Rabinowitz

Jacob Chansley, second from left, is seen inside the Arizona state Capitol in video shown by the committee on Tuesday.
Jacob Chansley, second from left, is seen inside the Arizona state Capitol in video shown by the committee on Tuesday. (January 6 Committee Exhibit)

The House select committee played new video on Tuesday of Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman,” which Rep. Adam Schiff said showed him "illegally" entering the Arizona state Capitol building before Jan. 6, 2021, and refusing to leave.

The video, according Schiff, is meant to highlight how individuals tied to the riot on January 6 were tied to prior incidents at state capitols across the country.

In the video, Chansley stood at the front of a small crowd in the same distinct outfit he wore to the US Capitol on Jan. 6. Chansley pointed forward and appeared to shout.

Chansley pleaded guilty in September to a felony charge for obstructing the Electoral College proceedings at the US Capitol on Jan. 6. He was sentenced to 41 months in prison. 

He has not been charged in connection with protests at the Arizona state Capitol.

Pictures of Chansley at the US Capitol went viral because of his bizarre appearance while leading others through the Capitol, shouting into a bullhorn.

As one of the first 30 rioters inside the building, he made his way to the Senate dais that was hastily vacated earlier by then-Vice President Mike Pence, and left a note that read, "It's Only A Matter Of Time. Justice Is Coming!" according to his plea documents.

2:13 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

GOP Rep. Biggs urged Arizona House speaker to decertify state’s electors on Jan. 6

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs urged Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers to throw out Biden electors and replace them with Trump electors on the morning of January 6.
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs urged Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers to throw out Biden electors and replace them with Trump electors on the morning of January 6. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images)

Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican, urged Arizona GOP House Speaker Rusty Bowers to throw out Biden electors and replace them with Trump electors on the morning of Jan. 6.

Bowers told the House Select Committee on Tuesday that Biggs called him the morning of Jan. 6 asking him to sign a letter from his state and support the decertification of Arizona’s electors.

“He asked if I would sign on both to a letter that had been sent from my state and/or that I would support the decertification of the electors,” Bowers said. “And I said I would not.”

Biggs was one of several Republican members of Congress who took part in former President Donald Trump's efforts to try to overturn the election. Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, connected the White House with Pennsylvania state legislators as well as a Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, who embraced Trump’s false claims of fraud.

The call Bowers received from Biggs, which had not been previously disclosed, came after he had already been pressured both by Trump and Trump attorney John Eastman, who put forward the theory to throw out electors in states Trump lost.

Rep. Adam Schiff, who was questioning Bowers, pointed to a statement Bowers released on Dec. 4, 2020, saying that Trump and Rudy Giuliani had come to Arizona making a “breathtaking request” for the state legislature to overturn the election results.

“The rule of law forbids us to do that,” Bowers said in the statement.
2:09 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

"I will not break my oath": Arizona House speaker says he rejected Giuliani's requests regarding voting fraud

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifies on Tuesday.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifies on Tuesday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers told the Jan. 6 committee that Rudy Giuliani and former President Trump were asking him for things that go "against my oath."

Bowers said Trump and his allies had asked him for two things during a phone call: one was to hold an official committee hearing at the Capitol "so that they could hear this evidence and we could take action hereafter." He said Giuliani never provided evidence of voting fraud and Bowers refused to allow the hearing because he didn't want to be part of "the circus" and didn't "want to be used as a pawn."

Bowers said Giuliani's second request was to remove electors of President Joe Biden and replace them. "I said, that's totally new to me. I've never heard of any such thing," Bowers told the committee during his testimony as he recounted the moment.

"I said look, you are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath when I swore to the Constitution to uphold it, and I also swore to the Constitution and the laws of the state of Arizona," Bowers said. "This is totally foreign as an idea or a theory, to me, and I would never do anything of such magnitude without deep consultation with qualified attorneys."

"You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath," he added.

Bowers said that the requests not only went against his oath, but also went against his "most basic foundational beliefs."

"There was no evidence being presented of any strength," he said. "Anything that would say to me you have a doubt, deny your oath. I will not do that," he added.

"It is a tenet of my faith, that the Constitution is divinely inspired of my most basic foundational beliefs — and so for me to do that because somebody just asked me to, it's foreign to my very being. I will not do it," Bowers added.


2:07 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

Jan. 6 committee details Trump team's early focus on pressuring state lawmakers

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

Cleta Mitchell, who advised former President Donald Trump’s legal team after the 2020 election, told the Jan. 6 committee that there were discussions about legislators being able to overturn the election results around the time of the 2020 election.

“Right after the election, it might have been before the election,” Mitchell said, according to video of her deposition played during the committee hearing.

In a Nov. 5, 2020, email that Mitchell sent to Trump attorney John Eastman, she asked Eastman: “What would you think of producing a legal memo outlining the constitutional role of state legislators in designating electors?” 

The email was previously disclosed by the committee in court filings.

In a video during the hearing, the committee showed testimony and new materials detailing the extent of the pressure campaign against state legislative leaders that played out in key states that Trump lost, including Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Michigan State Senate Majority leader Mike Shirkey, in video of his deposition, recalled a conversation he had with Trump where he told the former President, “We were going to follow the law.”

Shirkey said he remembered receiving 4,000 text messages in a short period of time from Trump supporters calling for action to change the state’s electors.

“They were believing things that were untrue,” Shirkey said.

The committee played audio of a voicemail from a Trump campaign official telling representatives, “You do have the power to reclaim your authority to send a slate of electors that will support President Trump and Vice President Pence.”

2:13 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers says Giuliani "never" provided evidence of voter fraud claims

From CNN's Clare Foran

Rusty Bowers, a Republican and Arizona state House speaker, testified before the committee that key Trump ally Rudy Giuliani said he had evidence of widespread voter fraud, but "never" provided it.

Bowers, who is a witness at today's hearing, described a phone call he took with former President Donald Trump and Giuliani in which Giuliani claimed to have evidence of fraud.

Bowers said he asked Giuliani "on multiple occasions" for proof of the fraud allegations.

"He said that they did have proof," Bowers said, describing the exchange. "I asked him, 'Do you have names?'" He told committee members Giuliani said that he did and would provide them to him.

But ultimately, according to Bowers, that didn't happen.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff asked Bowers, "Did you ever receive from him that evidence, either during the call, after the call, or to this day?"

Bowers replied simply: "Never."

The Arizona House speaker also told the committee that during another conversation with him, Giuliani said, “we've got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.”

“I don't know if that was a gaffe or maybe he didn't think through what he said, but both myself and others … remembered that specifically, and afterwards, we kind of laughed about it,” he said.


2:03 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

State officials say they received thousands of texts, had protests outside homes during pressure campaign 

Josh Roselman, investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 House select committee, is shown Tuesday on video.
Josh Roselman, investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 House select committee, is shown Tuesday on video. (Pool)

Josh Roselman, investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 House select committee, outlined how people in former President Trump's circle incessantly called state officials in an effort to block the election results prior to the 2021 attack on the Capitol.

In late 2020, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and other Trump associates started to send messages — sometimes daily — to Republican state lawmakers asking them to discuss the election and urging them to give their electoral votes to Trump.

Trump's allies made phone calls, sent texts and left voicemails to push the baseless claim that state legislators could overturn the election outcome.

"He posted multiple messages on Facebook listing the contact information for state officials and urging his supporters to contact them to quote, "demand a vote on the decertification.' In one of those posts, President Trump disclosed [Michigan State Sen.] Mike Shirkey's personal phone number to his millions of followers," Roselman said.

Shirkey said, "All I remember is receiving over, just shy of 4,000 a text messages in a short period of time calling to take action. ... They were believing things that were not true."  

Pennsylvania State Speaker Bryan Cutler said Giuliani repeatedly tried to reach out to him, and longtime Trump political adviser Steve Bannon announced protests at Cutler's office and home.

"All my personal information was doxxed online. It was my personal email, my personal cell phone, my home phone number. In fact, we have to disconnect our home phone for about three days because it would ring all hours of the night. It would fill up with messages," he said.

During the first protest, Cutler said his teen son was home alone.

1:55 p.m. ET, June 21, 2022

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers refutes Trump statement under oath

From CNN's Gabby Orr and Marshall Cohen

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifies on Tuesday.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifies on Tuesday. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers said under oath Tuesday that former President Donald Trump lied about him in a press release that came out shortly before the hearing, where Trump claimed that Bowers told him that he believed the 2020 election was rigged.

Rusty Bowers directly refuted portions of a statement released earlier this afternoon by the former president, testifying under oath that he never referred to the 2020 election as rigged to "anyone, anywhere, anytime." 

"I did have a conversation with the President – that certainly isn't it," Bowers told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection during live testimony on Tuesday.

Trump’s statement said: “In November 2020, Bowers thanked me for getting him elected. He said he would have lost, and in fact expected to lose, if I hadn’t come along. During the conversation, he told me that the election was rigged and that I won Arizona… Bowers should hope there’s not a tape of the conversation.”

Bowers was asked about Trump's statement by Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, and said his counselor had called to read it to him by phone shortly before the hearing began. 

"There are parts of it that are true, there are parts of it that are not true," Bowers told Schiff.

“…Anywhere, anyone anytime who has said that I said the election was rigged – that would not be true,” he continued.

The back-and-forth harkens back to Trump’s infamous conversations with former FBI Director James Comey in 2017, where Trump lied about what they discussed and raised the specter of “tapes.”

Like Bowers, Comey testified to Congress, under penalty of perjury, about the conversations with Trump.