Politics Rusty Bowers Trashes Trump, Defends Jan. 6 Testimony
Kinzinger says Trump 'chose not to act' as rioters breached Capitol: Jan. 6 hearing live updates
The House Jan. 6 committee focuses today on Trump's actions in the White House. Former White House aides Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger testify.Committee members have argued that Trump’s lack of response was a dereliction of duty under the Constitution to protect Congress.
Rusty Bowers, the GOP Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, defended his testimony that he gave to the House select committee investigating last year's Capitol riot, and said that he'll "never vote" for former Presidentagain.
During an interview on's This Week released on Sunday, Bowers spoke about the pressure he faced from Trump and his associates in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona where Biden won by almost 11,000 votes.
From 'an attempted coup' to chaos, Jan. 6 hearing moments
WASHINGTON (AP) — Through eight hearings, 20 live witnesses and dozens of hours of recorded testimony, the House Jan. 6 panel has focused its case squarely on former President Donald Trump. The panel has unveiled stunning evidence about the Capitol insurrection over six weeks of hearings, laying out in vivid detail what the panel calls an “attempted coup” by Trump as he desperately sought to overturn Joe Biden's election. Culling material from more than 1,000 witnesses, lawmakers have shown that officials inside the government fought Trump's schemes at every turn, calling them "nuts" and "unhinged.
Bowers joined a list ofwho have broken with the former president, and testified against him before the Select House committee. In his testimony, Bowers said that Trump and his legal team that would allegedly appoint pro-Trump election officials who would falsely declare a victory for the former president in the state.
"Did you ever consider going along with it?" host Jonathan Karl asked Bowers during the interview that took place at his home in Mesa, Arizona.
"That's a new one to me. I have never heard of that one. The idea of throwing out the election of the president is like, ok, so what part of Jupiter do I get to land on and colonize?" Bowers said.
He also said that he repeatedly asked Trump's personal attorney,, for evidence to back election fraud claims that said thousands of dead people voted in Arizona. However, Giuliani "never" provided name, data, or anything else that would prove the validity of those claims, according to Bowers.
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"If we want to base a party and an authority and move people to solve problems, you can't base it on a lie. Ultimately, that falls apart," Bowers said, who is set to face Trump-endorsed candidate David Farnsworth in a primary for the Arizonaon Tuesday.
However, his fate in the upcoming election is uncertain after the Arizona GOP formallyfor his January 6 testimony, which has also prompted him to face scrutiny and threats.
"I've had people walk up and say...'I'm ashamed of you,'" he said, adding that he has also been called a "traitor" and that the "price of treason is hanging."
Trump even criticized him during a rally in Prescott, Arizona, last week.
"Rusty Bowers, he's a RINO ['Republican in name only'] coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day, and disgraced himself, and he disgraced the state of Arizona," Trump told the crowd, according to ABC News.
Trump slams ‘RINO coward’ Bowers for testifying in Jan. 6 hearing
Former President Trump called Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) a “RINO coward,” using the acronym for “Republican in name only,” and reiterated his support for his endorsed candidate who is vying for a state Senate seat against Bowers. “Rusty Bowers is a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally…“Rusty Bowers is a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day and disgraced himself, and he disgraced the state of Arizona,” Trump said during a rally held in the Grand Canyon State for several of his endorsees.
When asked about Trump's remarks about him, Bowers responded: "I have thought at times someone born how he was and raised how he was, he [Trump] has no idea what a hard life is, and what people have to go through in the real world. He has no idea what courage is."
In another instance, the ex-presidentwith an audio tape of a conversation between them that he implied could contradict his January 6 testimony.
EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of his upcoming primary,goes one-on-one with Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers about how his bombshell Jan 6 testimony has affected his race—and former Pres. Trump's hold on the Republican Party.
"I'll never vote for him."— This Week (@ThisWeekABC)
Meanwhile, Bowers was asked about his thoughts on Trump's influence on GOP leaders in Arizona.
"Well, those leaders in Arizona are an interesting group in and of themselves. They rule by thuggery and intimidation," he said. "So, you know, they found a niche, they found a way and it's fear. And people can use fear, demagogues like to use fears as a weapon. And they weaponize everything. That's not leadership to me to use thuggery."
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger says the Jan. 6 committee has 'proven' a criminal case against Trump
The committee wouldn't be able to legally prosecute Trump, but it can send a criminal referral to the Justice Department."I think, taken in totality, this represents the greatest effort to overturn the will of the people, to conspire against the will of the people, and to conspire against American democracy that we've ever had, frankly since the Civil War," he said Friday during an interview with CNN. "I think we've proven that.
Additionally, on the possibility of voting for Trump again in case he decides to run in 2024, Bowers said: "My vote will never tarnish his name on a ballot."
"I'll never vote for him," Bowers added. "But I won't have to, because I think America's tired. And there's absolutely forceful, qualified, morally, defensible, and upright people. And that's what I want. That's what I want in my party. And that's what I want to see."
Newsweek reached out to Trump's media office for comment.
Arizona GOP House Speaker Rusty Bowers says 'America's tired' of Trump: 'I'll never vote for him, but I won't have to' .
Bowers' testimony for the January 6 committee prompted backlash from the Republican party. He's facing a Trump-backed candidate in a Senate primary."I'll never vote for him, but I won't have to. Because I think America's tired and there's some absolutely forceful, qualified, morally defensible and upright people, and that's what I want. That's what I want in my party and that's what I want to see," Bowers told Jonathan Karl on ABC's "This Week.