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Secretary of State Benson "grateful" for Jan. 6 committee putting pressure on state elections officials

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday that she's glad to see the U.S. House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection heard from state elections officials. They spoke about being pressured to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The House January 6 committee has heard chilling, tearful testimony that Donald Trump's relentless pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential election led to widespread threats against local workers and state officials.

The panel focused Tuesday on what chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democratic representative from Mississippi, called the "heroes" of American democracy — election workers and officials who fended off the defeated president's demands. The committee is focused on Trump's schemes to reject state tallies and electors, all fueled by his false claims of election fraud.

It heard from Arizona's Republican state House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about phone call pressure from Trump, including Trump's call asking the Georgia official to "find 11,780" votes to prevent Joe Biden's election victory and others.

“I’m really grateful for the committee’s work,” Benson told reporters, “Because when we were going through this in 2020, there weren’t many in the federal government we could speak to for assistance.”

Former President Donald Trump’s supporters made numerous unsubstantiated allegations of fraud in Michigan after President Joe Biden won the state by more than 150-thousand votes.

Benson is among state officials who have given testimony to the committee investigating efforts to invalidate the 2020 election.

Michigan’s secretary of state said it’s important that Republicans, Democrats, and others can trust election results.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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