The US House of Representatives select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is expected to show at its fourth hearing on Tuesday, June 21 that Donald Trump and top advisers coordinated a scheme to send fake slates of electors as part of an effort to return him to the White House.
The panel will also examine Trump’s campaign to pressure top officials in seven crucial battleground states to corruptly reverse his defeat to Joe Biden in the weeks and months after the 2020 election, according to Washington Post reports.
At the Tuesday hearing, the select committee is expected to focus heavily on the fake electors scheme, which has played a large part in its investigation into Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the election at the state level.
The panel will show how the fake electors scheme which may have been illegal – was the underlying basis for Trump’s unlawful strategy to have his vice-president, Mike Pence, refuse to certify Biden’s win in certain states and grant him a second term in office.
On 14 December 2020 when the authorized Democratic electors met at statehouses to formally name Biden as president, in seven battleground states, illegitimate Republican electors arrived too, saying they had come to instead name Trump as president.
The Trump electors were turned away. However, they allegedly proceeded to sign fake election certificates that declared they were the “duly elected and qualified” electors certifying Trump as the winner of the presidential election in their state.
The fake electors scheme was conceived in an effort to create “dueling” slates of electors that Pence could use to claim the election was in doubt and refuse to formalize Biden’s win at the congressional certification on 6 January.
The select committee will also show, that the fake election certificates were in part manufactured by the Trump White House, and that the entire fake electors scheme was coordinated by Trump and his top advisers, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to Washington post.
“We will show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme,” congressman Adam Schiff, the select committee member leading the hearing alongside the panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, and vice-chair, Liz Cheney, said to CNN
Members of Trump’s legal team insist this is a distorted characterization of the scheme, saying the so-called alternate slates were put together and signed in case that states did re-certify their election results for Trump and they needed to be sent right away to Congress.
According to the report the fake electors scheme is important because it could be a crime. The justice department is investigating whether the Republicans who signed as electors for Trump could be charged with falsifying voting documents, mail fraud or conspiracy to defraud the United States.
If Trump was involved in the scheme, and the justice department pursues a case, then the former US president may also have to face a criminal trial.
Among other key flash points that the panel intends to examine include Trump’s now-infamous 2 January 2021 call with Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger – who will testify live at the hearing – when Trump asked him to “find” votes to make him win the election.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during the conversation, a tape of which was obtained by the Washington Post and House investigators working for the select committee.
The select committee will also reportedly describe Trump pressuring other state officials to investigate election fraud claims his own White House and campaign lawyers knew were false, relying on testimony from Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers.