ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona House speaker calls push to overturn 2020 election ‘juvenile’

Jun 20, 2022, 8:00 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Calls from top advisers to former President Donald Trump to help overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss were an unsupported, unwise and “juvenile” effort that attacked a bedrock principal of American democracy, Arizona’s House speaker said Monday.

Republican Speaker Rusty Bowers is among a series of state election officials set to testify Tuesday before the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection where Trump backers tried to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Bowers spoke to The Associated Press after he arrived in Washington on Monday afternoon. He will be questioned about a phone call he got from Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani in the weeks after the November 2020 election where Giuliani floated a proposal to replace Arizona’s Biden electors by having the state’s Legislature instead choose those committed to voting for Trump.

Bowers refused, saying the scheme was illegal and unconstitutional. In an interview last year, he said he told the president he would not break the law to help him gain the presidency.

He revealed a second call from Trump on Monday, saying the president phoned again on Dec. 4, 2020, but did not pressure him. He said Trump mainly made small talk, asking about his family and the upcoming holidays.

“But then he said, ‘I want to call you to tell you that I remember what you said the first time.’” Bowers said. “And I’m presuming it was about when I told him I wouldn’t. That I supported him, I walked for him, I campaigned with him. But I wouldn’t do anything illegal for him.”

Bowers said efforts by Trump’s backers have harmed the nation, undercut trust in elections and the right of people to vote their conscience.

“I just think it is horrendous. It’s terrible,” Bowers said. “The result of throwing the pebble in the pond, the reverberations across the pond, have, I think, been very destructive.”

Bowers said he has not watched the committee’s hearings, but did see some of the video clips showing the rampage at the Capitol. He said it sickened him watching people who supported Trump attacking police, including a man who had protested at the Arizona Capitol.

“I’m appalled at what I saw,” Bowers said, “I don’t mind their having these hearings. I don’t mind. I think it illuminates something we need to see big time, and take stock of ourselves. And I hope it would sober us.”

Bowers was one of five recipients of this year’s John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award for his refusal to consider overturning the 2020 election results despite pressure from Trump and his supporters.

But while Bowers said the efforts by Giuliani and other Trump backers have been hurtful, he does not levy any criticism on Trump directly and would support him if he were on the ballot.

“If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I’d vote for him again,” Bowers said. “Simply because what he did the first time, before COVID, was so good for the county. In my view it was great.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally Saturd...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins Missouri and Idaho caucuses, sweeps Michigan GOP convention

Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination, winning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri and sweeping the convention in Michigan.

3 hours ago

Maine man, 79, dies while hiking Pyramid Trail in Sedona...

Damon Allred

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, establishes chief heat officer

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the state's first Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, creating the country's first state level heat officer.

3 hours ago

Kacey Musgraves, center, performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Su...

KTAR.com

Kacey Musgraves to play Glendale concert in September

Seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves is scheduled to perform at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale on Sept. 27.

5 hours ago

Jose Andres Guerrero Talamantes...

KTAR.com

Arrest made in fatal hit-and-run case in Carefree from December

Police arrested a man on Friday on felony hit-and-run charges involving death as part of an investigation into a crash that occurred in Carefree.

7 hours ago

Traffic is backed up on Interstate 10 near State Route 347 south of metro Phoenix...

KTAR.com

Report lists Phoenix, Tucson among U.S. cities with worst drivers

Two Arizona cities have landed in the top 10 of a national ranking of places with the worst drivers in the nation.

9 hours ago

Caution tape in front of police car....

KTAR.com

2 police officers injured in crash with suspected impaired driver in Phoenix

Two police officers suffered minor injuries in a two-vehicle crash in central Phoenix early Saturday morning.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Arizona House speaker calls push to overturn 2020 election ‘juvenile’