Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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A Georgia election worker who was falsely accused by Trump supporters will testify about threats.

While she is not a household name, Shaye Moss, who is scheduled to appear as a witness at the Jan. 6 committee’s hearing on Tuesday, did have an unfortunate brush with prominence in the weeks after the 2020 election.

With her mother, Ruby Freeman, Ms. Moss worked on Election Day processing ballots in Atlanta for the Fulton County elections board — in a hotly disputed swing state — and found herself ensnared in one of the many conspiracy theories that surrounded the presidential race.

In early December 2020, a lawyer for President Donald J. Trump played a segment of surveillance footage from their vote-counting station for a Georgia Senate committee. The lawyer falsely claimed that the spliced clip showed Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman pulling 18,000 fraudulent ballots from a suitcase and illegally feeding them through voting machines.

The baseless allegation was quickly seized upon by right-wing media outlets like The Gateway Pundit, which wrote several stories about Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman, calling them “crooked Democrats” and claiming that they began counting ballots “without election monitors in the room.”

Although Fulton County and Georgia election officials immediately debunked the accusations, they were nonetheless amplified by top Trump allies like Rudolph W. Giuliani. He compared Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman to drug dealers and called for their homes to be searched during a hearing with Georgia state legislators.

Mr. Trump himself invoked Ms. Freeman’s name 18 times during a phone call with Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, on Jan. 3, 2021. In the call, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Raffensperger to help him find 11,800 votes — enough to swing the results in Georgia away from the winner, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Raffensperger is also scheduled to testify at the House hearing on Tuesday.

When Ms. Moss appears before the committee, she is likely to describe the personal costs of her ordeal, which included death threats and unending harassment by phone and text message. She and Ms. Freeman eventually sued The Gateway Pundit for defamation and brought a separate legal action against Mr. Giuliani and another right-wing media outlet, One America News Network. In April, the network agreed to a settlement with the two women.

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