Here’s what this Arizona Latter-day Saint told the Jan. 6 committee about why he resisted Trump
Rusty Bowers said Trump, Giuliani, and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., asked him to do something he knew was not right
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified in front the Jan. 6 committee Tuesday that former President Donald Trump, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., all reached out to him about not going forward with certifying the 2020 election.
Bowers, a Latter-day Saint and Republican who represents a district in Mesa, said he supported Trump in the 2020 election but that President Joe Biden won the state. He said he got a call from the White House one Sunday and that Giuliani and Trump wanted to speak with him. Bowers said he was asked to hold an official hearing and told that there was a legal theory that states could remove the electors for Biden.
“I said, that’s totally new to me,” Bowers recalled saying in response. “I’ve never heard of any such thing.”
Bowers said on multiple occasions he asked for evidence of fraud, like the names of people who Trump’s team alleged voted in Arizona despite being dead or in the country illegally, but that evidence never came.
He said he was being asked to do something “that is counter to my oath when I swore to the Constitution to uphold it.”
“It is a tenant of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired,” Bowers said. “For me to do that because someone just asked to is foreign to my very being. I will not do it.”
Bowers said he received a phone call from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Jan. 6, 2021:— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) June 21, 2022
“He asked if I would sign on both to a letter that had been sent from my state and/or support a decertification of electors and I said I would not.” pic.twitter.com/FEKa04xxkk
On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Bowers said he received a phone call from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., asking him again whether he would decertify the election, but he refused.
“He asked if I would sign on both to a letter that had been sent from my state and/or support a decertification of electors and I said I would not,” Bowers said.
Bowers said he’s been targeted for not going along with the Trump plan, including at his home. On Saturdays, he said, groups with loudspeakers come to his neighborhood to accuse him of being a pedophile and pervert and leave literature. At his office, Bowers said he received more than 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voicemails and texts.
Bowers shared a journal entry from December 2020 about the experience.
“I may in the eyes of men not hold correct opinions or act according to their vision or convictions, but I do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner or a vengeful manner,” he wrote. “I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Tuesday that Trump’s attempt to overturn the election was stopped because of people who put their oath to the Constitution first.
“The system held, but barely, and the system held because people of courage, Republicans and Democrats... put their oath the country and the Constitution above any other consideration,” he said.
Trump claimed in a statement Tuesday that Bowers had told him Arizona’s 2020 election was rigged, but Bowers denied it, saying during the hearing that if “anywhere, anyone, anytime has said I said the election was rigged, that would not be true.”
Bowers, who received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year for defending the election, said there was no chance he would have done otherwise.
“You’re asking me to do something that’s never been done in history, the history of the United States, and I’m going to put my state through that without sufficient proof, and that’s going to be good enough with me?” Bowers said. “No sir.”