Georgia will be front and center in nationally televised Jan. 6 commission hearings

Secretary of State Raffensperger expected to publicly appear before House select committee
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 12:13 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Already trending toward bright, hot intensity, Georgia’s political spotlight will become even more focused Thursday night and over the next several weeks, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots begin its public hearings.

Organized and led by Congressional Democrats, the committee has, for months, been investigating allegations that former President Donald Trump attempted to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump lost that election to Democrat Joe Biden, becoming the 21st century’s first White House incumbent to lose reelection.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, according to CBS News, will publicly testify before the committee at some point. Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, phone call to Raffensperger, in which he asked Georgia’s top elections official, “to find 11,780 votes,” is certain to come up before the committee.

“We all know what happened on television, but the committee wants to know what happened in a broader sense that we didn’t see on TV,” said Alain Sanders, a former Time Magazine reporter, attorney and a professor emeritus at Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey. “And that backstory may involve Trump asking Raffensperger to find those 11,780 votes.”

Biden became the first Democratic White House candidate to carry Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992, winning the Peach State by .23%. Georgia was also the only Deep South state to vote Democratic in that election.

Raffensperger, Sanders said, has already appeared before the committee in private. “Clearly, the committee is interested in what Trump did in Georgia,” he said. “It appears, from evidence, there was advance planning for the Jan. 6 rally.”

“I just want everyone to understand, and I want (President Trump) to understand that we went through a deep dive on everything,” Raffensperger said in a recent interview with CBS46′s Rick Folbaum. “The ballots had been counted at the end of the day, three times.

“Every single allegation was investigated.”

Raffensperger has also appeared before a Fulton County grand jury that’s investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to meddle in the 2020 election. Trump has described the phone call as “perfect, perhaps even more so than my call with the Ukrainian President.”

Both Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp easily won their respective GOP primaries last month against Trump-backed challengers to their incumbencies.

The committee is set to hold six hearings, and the first one will be carried live over virtually every major TV network beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday. According to the Associated Press, more than 1,000 people have been interviewed by the nine-member panel over the past 11 months.