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Arizona lawmaker Rusty Bowers details the pressure put on him by Trump and Giuliani

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during hearing on the Jan. 6th investigation on Tuesday in Washington.
Kevin Dietsch
/
Getty Images
Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during hearing on the Jan. 6th investigation on Tuesday in Washington.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, told the committee during today's hearing about the pressure put on him by former President Donald Trump and his allies, including Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Bowers testified that Giuliani told him of allegations of voter fraud committed by undocumented immigrants or dead people who were listed as having voted.

Bowers said he and other GOP legislators pushed for explanations into the theories and for Giuliani to provide sufficient evidence to justify recalling the state's presidential electors.

"In my recollection," Bowers said of Giuliani, "he said, We have lots of theories we just don't have the evidence.'"

Bowers said Giuliani pressured him to call the Arizona legislature back into session — a unilateral move Bowers said he cannot do — to recall the electors that would be going to President Biden after Biden beat Trump in the state.

"It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired," he said, growing visibly emotional. "I would not do it."

The former president asked him to hold a hearing to investigate allegations of fraud in Arizona, he said, but added he didn't think the evidence "merited a hearing."

"You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath," he said he told Trump and Giuliani, to which the former New York mayor said: "Aren't we all Republicans here? I would think we'd get a better reception."

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during the hearing on the Jan. 6 investigation on Tuesday in Washington.
Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during the hearing on the Jan. 6 investigation on Tuesday in Washington.

Lawyer John Eastman also put pressure on Bowers, asking him during a phone call to set up a vote in the legislature to decertify the electors for the state.

"His suggestion was that we would do it, and I said I can't," Bowers said, adding that Eastman pressured him by telling him to "just do it and let the courts sort it out."

Bowers told the committee that his office was subject to over 20,000 emails, thousands of voicemails and texts from those who believed he was wrong to not recall the electors.

"Up until recently, it is a new pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays," he said about his family. "Because we have various groups come by."

Groups have video trucks accusing Bowers of being a pedophile and corrupt politician, blaring loudspeakers and threatening him and his neighbors.

"It was disturbing," he said, getting emotional again.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.