Heartbreaking But Unsurprising: Georgia Election Workers Testify That Trump’s Lies Led To Harassment and Death Threats
[guest post by Dana]
Today at the Jan. 6 Committee hearing, we learned that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani were more than willing to wreck an election workers’ life as they scapegoated her. Unfortunately, because Trump and his campaign didn’t give a crap about an election worker’s life, blowing it up was no big deal if it might benefit Trump and his election scheme:
A former Georgia election worker told the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday that “lies” spread by then-President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani about her and her mother taking part in a voter fraud scheme led to death threats and harassment in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.
In a hearing before the House select panel investigating the events that led to the Capitol riot, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, testified that false claims made by the former president, his personal lawyer and their allies about her and her mother, “Lady” Ruby Freeman, a temporary election worker, “turned my world upside down.”
“I don’t want anyone knowing my name,” Moss said. “I don’t wanna go anywhere with my mom ’cause she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere.
“I second-guess everything that I do,” she continued. “It’s affected my life in a major way, in every way, all because of lies for me doing my job, same thing I’ve been doing forever.”
And what did the Dumb and Dumber accuse Moss of doing? Well…:
Trump’s campaign accused Moss and Freeman of pulling fake mail-in ballots from suitcases while working on Election Day –– but officials quickly confirmed that these “suitcases” were standard ballot containers and that no fraud had occurred.
They also made an even more absurd accusation:
Trump and Giuliani claim[ed] they used a suitcase to sneak ballots into Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on election night, and that Freeman passed Moss a flash drive as the votes were being tallied.
The supposed flash drive was, in reality, a ginger mint, Moss said.
Trump mentioned Freeman during a call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger –– during which he asked the secretary to “find” enough votes to overturn the election –– repeating her name 18 times and calling her a “professional vote scammer,” a “hustler” and “a known political operative.”
Unfortunately, Trumpers believed Trump’s lies and decided they needed to do something about Moss. Thus, Moss and her family were repeatedly harassed by Trump supporters:
At the urging of her boss, Moss said she checked her Facebook messages and there “were just a lot of horrible things there.” They included “a lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that I’ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like, ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.’”
“A lot of them were racist, a lot of them were just hateful,” Moss said.
She said her son also received threats and that at one point, people went to her grandmother’s house and tried to make a “citizen’s arrest.”
Things got so bad that the FBI told Freeman she needed to leave her home, so she went into hiding and remained there for two months.
“It was horrible,” Freeman said. “I felt homeless. I can’t believe this person [Trump] has caused this much damage to me and my family, to have to leave my home.”
Freeman said she lost her reputation and a sense of security because Trump and Giuliani “decided to scapegoat me and my daughter to push their own lies about the election being stolen.”
“There is nowhere I feel safe, nowhere,” Freeman said. “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American — not to target one. But he targeted me — Lady Ruby, a small-business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stand up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”
"I've lost my name, and I've lost my reputation. I've lost my sense of security — all because a group of people… scapegoat[ed] me and my daughter, Shaye, to push their own lies about how the Presidential election was stolen."
– Ruby Freeman, former Georgia election worker pic.twitter.com/jEVvW85ZJX
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 21, 2022
This is outrageous. The ease with which the most powerful man in the United States at the time and his crony targeted two election workers, and not only tarnished their reputations and scared them to death, but also brought pain and suffering on their families, is shocking. But it shouldn’t be. Not really. Because that is
who what they are: conniving animals with no functioning moral compass who would go to any lengths to get their way. Trump, because he really believed (and still does) that he alone was the savior of the American people and as such, there was no way on earth that he could have lost the election. And Giuliani, because he was and is a slimy, spineless worm. Both men are nothing more than fetid green oozing pustules on the body politic.