Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, one of the nine members on the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, said that she was “proud” to serve on the panel—and called its work essential to “guard our democracy.”
The first Vietnamese American woman elected to Congress, Murphy said that while the events of the riot were “shocking,” perhaps the “most insidious things” were what transpired prior to the insurrection.
Murphy said that it’s her hope that people watch the hearings “not as Democrats or Republicans or Independents, but rather as Americans to hear the facts about how an elected politician wanted to retain power, and wanted to ignore the will of the people.”
On June 13, former Atlanta-based federal prosecutor U.S. Attorney Byung “BJay” Pak who found no evidence to support false claims of voter fraud in Georgia and resigned under pressure from former President Donald Trump, testified in front of the committee.
He said claims made by the former president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani were “false” and that his replacement also found no evidence to support numerous claims seeking to undermine Georgia’s election results.
The main claims made by Giuliani baselessly alleged that “suitcases of ballots” were illegally counted in Fulton County at State Farm Arena, and that election workers intentionally scanned batches of ballots multiple times to alter the election results.
Pak said then-Attorney General William Barr asked him to investigate the claims before Barr might have to discuss it at the White House.
“We found that the suitcase full of ballots, the alleged black suitcase that was being seen pulled from under the table, was actually in an official lockbox where ballots were kept safe,” he said. “Unfortunately, during a Senate hearing, Mr. Giuliani only played a clip that showed them pulling out the official ballot box from under the table and referring to that as a smoking gun of fraud in Fulton County. But in actuality, in review of the entire video, it showed that that was actually an official ballot box that was kept underneath the tables.”
Giuliani’s claims were almost instantly debunked by elections officials who explained that nothing illegal or untoward was happening—something an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and others concluded as well.
Pak’s testimony came in a day that painted a picture that most of Trump’s advisers and confidants knew the election was not stolen and that many claims Trump promoted were false, yet Trump seemed to ignore those advisers in favor of people like Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell, who now both face lawsuits over false claims they made about voting machines and election results after 2020.
Georgia has played a prominent role in the Jan. 6 committee process so far, with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his top deputy slated to testify in a future hearing.