PHOENIX — When it came to changing Arizona's election results, President Donald Trump and his team led by Rudolf Guiliani focused on Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers.
Guiliani told Bowers the Trump campaign had evidence of thousands of illegal immigrants and dead people voting in the state's 2020 presidential election. Bowers said he needed proof.
The Speaker told the committee, "my recollection, he said, we have lots of theories we just don't have the evidence."
Without proof, Bowers told the committee there was no way he would even entertain what Trump wanted, which was to call a special session and have the legislature change the state's electors from Joe Biden to Trump.
"On more than one occasion that has been brought up," Bowers said, "and it is a tenant of my faith that the constitution is divinely inspired of my most basic foundational beliefs and for somebody to do that because they just asked me to is foreign to my very being. I will not do it."
If there was a theme to Tuesday's hearing it was the singular efforts of some state and local elections officials to withstand the pressure by President Trump to change votes in Arizona and Georgia. When Bowers said "no" to Trump, he became the target of protesters. Bowers told the committee crowds would gather outside his home accusing him of being a pedophile.
"We've had various groups come by and they have had video panel trucks of videos proclaiming me to be a pedophile, a pervert, and a corrupted politician. Loudspeakers in my neighborhood and leaving literature and arguing and threatening my neighbors," Bower told the committee.
During that time, the Speaker and his wife were caring for their gravely ill daughter, who passed away in early 2021.
The committee also showed a never-before-seen video of an illegal entry into the Arizona House of Representatives.
Congressman Adam Schiff of California said the participants included members of the Proud Boys and the Qanon Shaman who were later part of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Through it all, Bowers never backed down. The Speaker said the law and his duty to the constitution wouldn't allow it.
"I will not be a winner by cheating."
Perhaps knowing Bowers' testimony would be damaging, former President Donald Trump released a statement claiming Bowers told him during a phone call the election was rigged and he won Arizona.
The Speaker was asked about Trump's statement during the hearing.
"Anywhere, anyone, anytime has said that I said the election was rigged — that would not be true," Bowers said. And when Congressman Schiff asked, "when the former president in his statement claimed you told him he also won Arizona, is that also false?"
Bowers answered, "that is also false."