A mom and daughter from Georgia who labored on the 2020 presidential election advised lawmakers at a Tuesday congressional listening to that former President Donald Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the vote upended their lives and left them deeply traumatized.
“I have lost my name and I have lost my reputation,” Ruby Freeman stated in a pretaped interview aired on the listening to. “I have lost my sense of security. All because a group of people, starting with Number 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.”
Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, Freeman’s daughter, testified that she now not feels snug leaving residence, even to go to the grocery retailer, and that she now second-guesses all the things she does. Moss has additionally stop her job as an election employee ― which she stated she valued as a result of her grandmother emphasised the significance of voting, and she or he preferred serving to older voters ― after 10 years of service.
In the weeks after the November 2020 vote, Trump and his legal professional Giuliani promoted a video of Freeman and Moss on election evening, falsely claiming that it confirmed them meddling on behalf of Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The accusation circulated broadly amongst Trump supporters, who hurled abuse and threats on the two ladies ― and even at Moss’ grandmother.
At the listening to, organized by the House committee investigating how Trump’s election lies spurred the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Moss stated she realized of the video when two of her colleagues confirmed it to her and warned that she was dealing with assaults on-line. She then checked her Facebook inbox, the place she discovered violent messages and assertions that she and Freeman, who’re each Black, could be imprisoned. The invective included racist assaults, Moss stated, just like the assertion “Be glad that it’s 2020 and not 1920.”
In a Dec. 10, 2020, Zoom name with Georgia legislators, Giuliani personally employed racist tropes when speaking about Moss and Freeman, claiming that they might be seen within the video “passing around USB ports as if they’re vials of heroin or cocaine.”
Rather than some sort of USB gadget, what Freeman really handed her daughter in that video was a ginger mint, Moss stated.
People who believed the Trump workforce’s narrative ultimately went to the house of Moss’ grandmother and tried to power their approach in, claiming they might perform a citizen’s arrest of Moss and Freeman.
“This woman is my everything … I told her, ‘Close the door. Don’t open the door for anyone,’” Moss stated. “She is a 70-something-year-old woman, and she doesn’t like having restrictions. She wants to answer the door. She likes to get her steps in walking around the neighborhood. I had to tell her, ‘You can’t do that. You have to be safe.’”
“I felt horrible for picking this job and being the one who always wants to help and is always there, never missing out on one election,” she stated. “I just felt like it was my fault, putting my family in this situation.”
As Trump ramped up his efforts to cling to energy forward of Jan. 6 ― the date on which Biden’s reputable victory could be licensed ― the FBI approached Freeman to warn that her residence may also be focused, and that she ought to discover one other place to remain.
“I can’t believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family, to have to leave my home that I have lived at for 21 years,” Freeman stated. “It was horrible.”
Beyond the preliminary worry and chaos, the smear marketing campaign had a broad, lasting impression, each ladies stated. They nonetheless fear about their names being publicly talked about by waitstaff at a restaurant or by a member of the family, and Freeman stated she’s going to by no means once more put on the shirt she wore that election evening, which proclaimed her as “Lady Ruby.”
“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?” Freeman stated. “The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small-business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who would stand up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”
Moss and Freeman are at the moment suing Giuliani. They additionally sued the pro-Trump media outlet One America News, which agreed to a settlement with them in April.