Posted by on June 21, 2022 6:34 pm
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Threatening tweet with noose GIF prompted Georgia official’s fiery rebuke of Trump

Gabe Sterling, Georgia Deputy Secretary of State, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Threatening tweet with noose GIF prompted Georgia official’s fiery rebuke of Trump

Ryan King June 21, 05:52 PMJune 21, 05:54 PM Video Embed

Gabriel Sterling, a top deputy for the Georgia secretary of state, shared what prompted him to “lose it” and deliver a fiery rebuke of former President Donald Trump‘s election fraud claims during a December 2020 press conference.

A contractor working for Dominion Voting Systems had received a tweet with a GIF depicting a noose slowly twisting around, prompting Sterling to “turn red” and unleash his fury on the former president, he recalled during a public hearing held by the House select Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday.

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“It seemed necessary at the time because it was just getting worse. And I don’t — I could not tell you why that particular one was the one that put me over the edge,” Sterling testified.

“It was a particular tweet that, for lack of a better word, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Had a young man’s name, a very unique name, I believe, as a first-generation American, and said, ‘You committed treason’ and ‘May God have mercy on your soul’ with a slowly twisting GIF of a noose and, for lack of a better word, I lost it. I just got irate,” he said.

Dominion Voting Systems has been subject to claims that it tampered with the election results to deprive Trump of victory. The company has repeatedly denied these claims and filed multiple defamation lawsuits since the 2020 election.

Sterling drew national attention for his rebuke of Trump during a December 2020 press conference, which came shortly after he saw the tweet that contained the noose GIF. During the press conference, he implored Trump to “step up” and stop peddling claims that could lead to violence.

“Mr. President, it looks like you’re likely [to lose] the state of Georgia. We’re investigating. There’s always a possibility. I get it. You have the right to go to the courts,” Sterling declared at the time. “Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone’s gonna get hurt. Someone’s gonna get shot. Someone’s gonna get killed.”

https://twitter.com/January6thCmte/status/1539325111626518529?s=20&t=0TiEKGrk3PF8kzl0NMAeAw

Sterling subsequently offered an explanation why some may dispute the election despite overwhelming evidence it was legitimate.

“I remember … an attorney that we know, that we showed him, [walked] him through this wasn’t true. ‘OK. I get that this wasn’t true. OK. I get that this was five or six things.’ But at the end, he goes, ‘I just know in my heart that [they] cheated,'” Sterling recalled an attorney telling him.

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Sterling stressed that it can be frustrating and difficult to cut through claims of voter fraud with logic because people have it embedded in their hearts.

“I even have family members who I had to argue with about some of these things, and I would show them things, and the problem you have is you’re getting to people’s hearts,” he said. “So, once you get past the heart, the facts don’t matter as much. And our job from our point of view is to get the facts out, your job, tell the truth. Follow the Constitution. Follow the law, and defend the institutions, and the institutions held.”

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