Arizona Rep. Who Detailed Trump‘s Illegal Plot to Steal the Election Says He’d Vote for Trump in 2024

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On Tuesday afternoon, the January 6 committee kicked off its fourth public hearing with testimony from Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers. Addressing the panel’s questions slowly and deliberately, Bowers gave a detailed account of the pressure campaign by Donald Trump and his allies to get him to investigate their baseless claims of voter fraud and, later, to replace Arizona’s Joe Biden electors with Trump ones. As Bowers told the panel, he refused to do so, noting that he informed Rudy Giuliani: “You are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath,” adding that he would not violate the law or the Constitution. Later, Bowers read an excerpt from a journal he kept at the time, in which he wrote: “I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to with any contrived desire towards deflection of my deep foundational desire to follow God’s will.” He also described to the committee the harassment and verbal abuse he and his family received as a result of his refusal to do Trump’s bidding, which included people screaming at him through bullhorns, accusing him of pedophilia, and showing up in his neighborhood with a gun. All of this, Bowers said, occurred while his “gravely ill” daughter, who later died, watched from inside his home. In an interview on Monday with the Associated Press, the Arizona Republican called the efforts by Team Trump “horrendous” and said he was “appalled” by what he saw in the Capitol riot footage aired by the January 6 committee.

Given all that, you might think that when it comes to 2024, Bowers would be voting for anyone but Trump. But, surprise! Apparently that whole attempted coup business, and the bloody insurrection that left multiple people dead, isn’t enough for him to turn his back on the guy. “If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I’d vote for him again,” Bowers inexplicably told the AP. “Simply because what he did the first time, before COVID, was so good for the county. In my view it was great.” Which is sort of like defending Mussolini by reminding people that before he teamed up with Hitler, he made the trains run on time. (Also, some might argue that Muslim bans, self-defeating trade wars, and all the other stuff Trump did “before COVID” was not, in fact, good for the country.)

Unfortunately, Bowers isn’t the only public figure to declare Trump a dangerous maniac and in the same breath say, “but he’s got my vote!” In March, while promoting a memoir in which he writes that “the absurd lengths to which [Trump] took his ‘stolen election’ claim led to the rioting on Capitol Hill,” former attorney general Bill Barr said that he would nevertheless cast his ballot for Trump should he win the Republican Party’s nomination. “I believe that the greatest threat to the country is the progressive agenda being pushed by the Democratic Party,” Barr said.

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As New York’s Ed Kilgore noted at the time, it’s these revelations—from people who have publicly documented Trump’s danger to society—that portend the scary reality the country may find itself in should Trump decide to run again. “If you want to understand Donald Trump’s high odds of winning his party’s presidential nomination in 2024…don’t focus on his most avid MAGA-movement supporters,” Kilgore wrote. “Look at Republicans like his former attorney general Bill Barr, who make money trashing the 45th president in books and media appearances but say they’ll support his future political ambitions anyway.”

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