Rusty Bowers says he would vote for Trump again despite enduring a 'disturbing' months-long harassment campaign at his home incited by the former president




  • In Politics
  • 2022-06-22 16:04:35Z
  • By Business Insider
Arizona state House speaker Rusty Bowers is sworn in before the January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.
Arizona state House speaker Rusty Bowers is sworn in before the January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.  
  • Bowers offered emotional testimony to the January 6 committee on Tuesday.

  • The Republican legislator detailed the harassment he faced incited by Trump's election lies.

  • But Bowers said he would vote for Trump again if the former president runs for reelection in 2024.

Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, offered emotional testimony to the January 6 committee on Tuesday in which he detailed the harassment he endured as President Donald Trump pressured him to reverse the state's 2020 election results.

But despite facing that pressure, and cooperating with a committee that's investigating the former president's actions surrounding the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Bowers says he would vote for Trump again if he runs for reelection in 2024.

"If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I'd vote for him again," Bowers told the Associated Press this week. "Simply because what he did the first time, before COVID, was so good for the county. In my view it was great."

Bowers' statement of cautious support for Trump - as well as the acknowledgement that he may again face a choice between him and President Joe Biden - underscores both his identity as a conservative Republican, and the nature of America's two-party system.

Just recently, Republican Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina - who lost his primary to a Trump-backed primary challenger after voting to impeach Trump and comparing the former president to a dictator - said he might vote for Trump again if he apologized for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Following the 2020 presidential election, Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, sought to pressure Bowers to call the legislature back into session in order to "recall" the state's electoral votes after Biden was declared the winner.

On Tuesday, Bowers spoke at length about the effects of that pressure campaign. "We received... in excess of 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voicemails and texts, which saturated our offices," he said.

He went on to detail harassment at his home from Trump supporters and others who believed the election had been stolen.

"It is the new pattern, or a pattern, in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays," said Bowers. "Because we have various groups come by and they have had video panel trucks with videos of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician."

"There was one gentleman that had the three bars on his chest and he had a pistol and was threatening of my neighbor," said Bowers, apparently referring to the insignia worn by members of far-right "Three Percenter" militias.

He also spoke of how the harassment outside his home affected his daughter, who was sick at the time with a terminal illness and died on February 1, 2021.

"We had a daughter who was gravely ill who was upset by what was happening outside," said Bowers. "And my wife ... is a valiant person. Very very strong, quiet, very strong woman."

"So it was disturbing, it's disturbing," he added.

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