During its public hearings, the House committee investigating January 6 has been making the case that Donald Trump spread election lies, which he was repeatedly told were not true, with no concern for the damage he was doing to American democracy or individuals who got in the way of his plot. Five police officers died in connection with the Capitol attack, and the last hearing focused heavily on how close the mob came to harming Vice-President Mike Pence. But during Tuesday’s hearing, testimony from Shaye Moss, former Georgia elections worker, and her mother showed that Trump’s scheme also had a devastating impact on average Americans who never thought taking an active role in our election system could put their lives at risk.
Moss became the focus of vicious conspiracy theories after Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told Georgia officials that she and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were caught on camera committing election fraud. Trump mentioned Ross 18 times in his infamous phone call with Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, and Giuliani told state lawmakers that footage showed the two exchanging a USB drive while Moss was counting ballots. Moss testified on Tuesday that her mother was actually giving her a “ginger mint.”
Moss began her testimony by explaining that her family had always emphasized the importance of voting, and she deeply enjoyed helping people participate in elections.
But after Trump and his allies suggested she was involved in a conspiracy to steal the 2020 election, she became the target of horrific harassment and threats, including messages “wishing death upon me, telling me that you know, I’ll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like, ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.’”
Moss and Freeman said the harassment was so intense that they were forced to go into hiding. “It turned my life upside down,” she testified. “I don’t want anyone knowing my name … I just don’t do nothing anymore, I don’t want to go anywhere. I second guess everything that I do. It’s affected my life in a major way, in every way. All because of lies.”
“I felt horrible, I felt like it was all my fault,” Moss continued, explaining that she felt like her family wouldn’t be at risk if she hadn’t decided to be an elections worker.
The hearing concluded with a harrowing excerpt from Freeman’s deposition that underscored the cruelty of Trump’s decision to make baseless accusations against a random election worker and her mother.
“Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?” Freeman said. “The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one.”
More on the January 6 hearings
- Ivanka Trump Gave the January 6 Panel What It Needed
- The January 6 Hearings Exposed Trump’s Criminality. Will It Matter?
- Turns Out the Secret Service Repeatedly Defied Trump on January 6