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Jan. 6 panel reveals new depths of Trump pressure campaign and threats to state officials

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The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 on Tuesday unveiled closed-door testimony and documents that shed new light on former President Trump’s campaign to pressure state officials to help overturn the election.

Driving the news: The Trump campaign had a call script for appeals to legislators that urged them to support appointing fraudulent pro-Trump electors in states where Biden won.

The panel also played audio of repeated voicemails left by Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis for Pennsylvania House Speaker Steve Cutler — even after Cutler asked his lawyers to tell Giuliani to stop calling.They played video of Trump at a rally on Dec. 5, 2020 saying he has “become friendly with legislators that I didn’t know four weeks ago.”

Why it matters: The committee is making the case that Trump is directly complicit in violent threats against state officials and lawmakers – a theme in these hearings that have tied Trump more closely to the events around Jan. 6.

What they’re saying: Cutler, a Republican, testified to the panel in a taped deposition that there were “multiple protests” outside his home and district office and all his personal information was leaked online.

“We had to disconnect our home phone for about three days,” Cutler said. The panel played audio of a woman telling Cutler in a voicemail, “We are outside.”Mike Shirkey, the Republican majority leader of the Michigan state senate, testified that, after Trump tweeted his personal phone number, he received, “just shy of 4,000 text messages in a short period of time, calling to take action.”

Many of these calls and protests were threatening to the lawmakers and officials targeted, the committee demonstrated.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said while protests were underway outside her home, “The uncertainty of that was what was the fear. Like, are they coming with guns? Are they going to attack my house?”“Donald Trump did not care about the threats of violence,” said Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). “He did not condemn them. He made no efforts to stop them. He went forward with his fake allegations anyway.”