Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona statehouse, gave emotional testimony Tuesday about the impact his role defying the scheme to overturn the election results in his state had on him and his family, describing “disturbing” protests outside his home and, at one point, reading a passage from his personal journal about friends who had turned on him.
Appearing at the fourth public hearing of the House Select Committee, Bowers welled up as he discussed the impact protests at this house had on his wife and his daughter, who was at home gravely ill at the time and was “upset by what was happening outside.”
“It is the new pattern or a pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays because we have various groups come by,” Bowers said. “They had video panel trucks with video of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician.”
On one occasion, Bowers said, the protesters included an armed man who appeared to be associated with the far-right militant group the Three Percenters.
“There was one gentleman that had the three bars on his chest and he had a pistol and was threatening my neighbor,” Bowers said.
Earlier, reading from a December 2020 entry he’d made in his personal journal, Bowers grew emotional as he described losing friends as a result of his position and how his faith helped him make decisions.
“It is painful to have friends who have been such a help to me turn on me with such rancor,” Bowers said.
“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. I do not want to be a winner by cheating,” he said.
Hear Bowers read his diary entry from December 2020 amid Trump’s pressure campaign: