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Witnesses recount post-election threats of violence

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) testified Tuesday that he and his family faced a barrage of violent threats, including sexual harassment and a home break-in, after he refused to aid in former President Trump‘s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Why it matters: At the Jan. 6 select committee’s fourth hearing, multiple election officials spoke about the intense harassment and protests targeting them in the aftermath of the election.

What they’re saying: “After the election, my email, my cell phone was doxed and I was getting texts all over the country and then eventually my wife started getting texts,” Raffensperger said.

“Hers typically came in as sexualized texts which were disgusting … They started going after her I think just to probably put pressure on me: ‘Why don’t you quit and walk away.'””And then some people broke into my daughter-in-law’s home,” he said. “My son has passed and she’s a widow and has two kids and so we’re very concerned about her safety also.”

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) fought back tears as he testified that it is now a “pattern in our lives” to worry about what will happen on Saturdays because so many different groups have set up shop outside his home and caused public disturbances with their protests.

They’ve brought video panel trucks to blare claims that Bowers is “a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician,” left literature on his property and argued with Bowers and his neighbors, he said.In one incident, a man who had a pistol verbally threatened his neighbor, Bowers added.”We had a daughter who was gravely ill who was upset by what was happening outside and my wife was and is a valiant person, very strong.””It was disturbing,” he said as he struggled to speak evenly. “It was disturbing.”

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting implementation manager, recounted a call he received from the project manager at Dominion Voting Systems after the election. “She was oddly audibly shaken … and informed me about a young contractor they had who had been receiving threats from a video that had been posted by some QAnon supporters,” he said.

He later searched the man’s name, a first-generation American, and found a tweet which he called “the straw that broke the camel’s back.””It said, ‘You committed treason, may god have mercy on your soul’ and a slowly twisting gif of a noose,” he added, noting that the tweet and a profound impact on him, it pushed him to make a public statement calling on Trump to condemn the threats.

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.”

Worth noting: Cheney embraced Bowers after his testimony.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story and has been updated throughout.