Al Schmidt, former Philadelphia city commissioner, spoke about finding no evidence of “8,000 dead voters voting in Pennsylvania” in his testimony to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on June 13.
Ahead of Schmidt’s testimony, the committee played clips of a recorded deposition by former attorney general Bill Barr, who dismissed false claims made by former President Donald Trump and some of his associates that there were discrepancies in the 2020 vote tally in Philadelphia.
Schmidt served as the only Republican member of Philadelphia’s three-member city commission, which is responsible for overseeing elections in the city. He said he investigated false claims of voter fraud, including a claim from Rudy Guiiani to Pennsylvania state legislators that 8,000 dead people voted in the state. In fact, they didn’t even find eight such votes.
“We took seriously every case that was referred to us — no matter how fantastical, no matter how absurd — and took every one of those seriously, including these.”
Schmidt also addressed threats that he received following a tweet from former President Donald Trump that disparaged Schmidt’s work and called him out by name. Prior to that tweet, Schmidt said the threats he and his team received were “general in nature.” But afterward, “the threats became much more specific [and] much more graphic.”
“[The threats] included not just me by name but included members of my family by name, their ages, our address, pictures of our home, just every bit of detail that you can imagine,” Schmidt said. “That was what changed with that tweet.”
The hearing was the second of several planned by the Jan. 6 committee that focused on how Trump actively spread false information about the 2020 election outcome – what has become known as the “big lie” – in the run up to the Jan. 6 insurrection. In the year since its creation, the committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, seeking critical information and documents from people witness to, or involved in, the violence that day.
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