The Committee presented Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers as their first witness of the day. The decision was well-planned. Speaker Bowers provided utterly devastating evidence against Donald Trump, which goes to Trump’s intent and a separate possible crime in pressuring Bowers to violate his oath of office in sending alternate electors to Washington.

Here Bowers testifies to the fact that Trump lied about his conversation with Bowers over who won the Arizona election:

Evidence that Trump lied about conversations he had with various state elected officials would be critical in a number of different possible charges that prosecutors might consider filing against Trump. An intentional lie intended to shape beliefs and a false narrative could apply to a crime involving Trump’s treatment of Bowers himself, pressuring Bowers to commit a crime. Trump intentionally put Bowers in danger as Bowers then had to disagree with Trump and set forth the truth that he never told Trump that he won Arizona. It would be extremely powerful evidence if Trump were to be charged with obstructing Congress by providing alternate electors and pressuring Pence to count those electors. No less than Arizona’s Speaker of the House said that A) Trump lost, and B) He would not consider sending other electors. Last and perhaps most dangerously to Trump, if Trump was charged with conspiring to commit sedition against the United States, the fact that Trump knew the truth about the Arizona election and chose to lie about it, proves that Trump intended to inflame his supporters, spurring them to action while also putting the country’s democracy in jeopardy by ignoring the election itself.

As Mr. Bowers said; “You are asking me to put my state through that, without sufficient proof?” as a question posed to Trump. Trump implied that that was exactly what Trump asked him to do. Trump’s criminal exposure just increased substantially.

And that is why the Committee had Speaker Bowers first. They intend to prosecute Trump through the hearings and then see what DOJ does with that clear and compelling evidence.