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Arizona GOP House Speaker gives emotional testimony about why he stood up to Trump and Rudy Giuliani: ‘I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to’

Arizona House Speaker Russell Bowers told the January 6 panel that he believed the Constitution was “divinely inspired.”

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

  • Arizona GOP House Speaker Russell Bowers gave an emotional testimony about standing up to Trump.
  • Bowers said he didn’t see any evidence compelling him to break his oath to uphold the Constitution.
  • “I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to,” he said.

Russell Bowers, the GOP speaker for the Arizona House of Representatives, gave an emotional testimony on Tuesday about how he stood up to former President Donald Trump and Trump-allied lawyer Rudy Giuliani. 

Bowers was testifying at the fourth of the six public hearings held by the January 6 panel investigating the Capitol riot. During the hearing, it was revealed that Trump and Giuliani had pressured several officials, including Bowers, to get them to overturn the votes cast in the 2020 presidential election.

Bowers told the panel that he never came across “strong judicial quality evidence” of widespread voter fraud that would have led him to “deny” his oath to uphold the Constitution.

Stating his belief that the Constitution is “divinely inspired,” he added that being asked to go against it by overturning the votes would have been “foreign to my very being.”

“I will not do it,” said Bowers.

Bowers also described a conversation with Giuliani during which he said he was pressured to find ways to overturn the votes. 

“I’ve never heard of any such thing,” Bowers told the panel, referring to his opinion of Giuliani’s proposal. “And I said, ‘Look, you are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath when I swore to the Constitution to uphold it, and I also swore to the Constitution and the laws of the state of Arizona.'”

Bowers added that it was “painful” to have people turn on him with “rancor” for his decision.

“I may, in the eyes of men, not hold correct opinions or act according to their vision or convictions, but I do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner, or a vengeful manner,” said the lawmaker. “I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to.” 

Arizona was one of the states where Trump aggressively pushed his baseless voter fraud theories. For instance, Trump has continually claimed that the Cyber Ninjas’ vote recount in Maricopa County uncovered “undeniable evidence” of fraud. However, the recount confirmed that Biden beat Trump — and by 261 more votes than were initially counted.

Last October, Trump called for yet another vote audit in Pima County, Arizona’s second-most populous county after Maricopa. 

Meanwhile, in February, Bowers acted to block legislation that permits Arizona to overturn the election results. 

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