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Republican Legislature Censured Speaker Bowers After His Testimony Resisting Trump

Credit: iStock

Reinette LeJeune

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified to the January 6th committee about resisting Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden, has been formally censured by his own Republican party members. The chair of Arizona’s Republican party, Kelli Ward, promptly announced that its “executive committee formally censured Rusty Bowers tonight – he is no longer a Republican in good standing and we call on Republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the August primary”. Ward released a copy of the formal censure, which included “killing all meaningful election integrity bills” among Bowers’ alleged misdeeds and called on Arizona voters to “expel him permanently from office”.

Bowers testified to the House January 6 committee on June 21st, “Anyone, anywhere, anytime I said the election was rigged, that would not be true” refuting Trump’s claims otherwise. Bowers also described a conversation with Rudy Giuliani, saying, “We’ve got lots of theories but we just don’t have the evidence.” He also spoke about how his Christian faith motivated him to defy Trump, even describing the threats made to him by Trump supporters – all while his daughter was mortally ill. Bowers was awarded a Profile in Courage award for his resistance to Trump’s desires.

After the hearing had concluded with Bowers, it was revealed that he had told the Associated Press: “If [Trump] is the nominee [in 2024], if he was up against [Joe] Biden, I’d vote for him again. Simply because what he did the first time, before Covid, was so good for the country. In my view it was great.” Two weeks later, however, Bowers has claimed to have since changed his mind on the subject. “I don’t want the choice of having to look at [Trump] again,” he said, “and if it comes, I’ll be hard pressed. I don’t know what I’ll do. But I’m not inclined to support him. Because he doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the morals and the platform of my party. That guy is just – he’s his own party. It’s a party of intimidation and I don’t like it. So I’m not going to be boxed by, ‘Who am I gonna vote for?’ Because that’s between me and God. But I’m not happy with him. And I’m not happy with the thought that a robust primary can’t produce somebody better than Trump, for crying out loud.”

In a later interview with Business Insider, Bowers also noted, “Much of what [Trump] has done has been tyrannical, especially of late. I think that there are elements of tyranny that anybody can practice on any given day, and I feel like I’ve seen a lot of it.”