ATLANTA — The mother and daughter from Fulton County who were thrown into a dizzying harassment campaign by President Donald Trump and his allies in the wake of the 2020 election gave emotional testimony on Tuesday to the Jan. 6 Committee about the life-altering effects of that campaign.
"Do you know how it feels to have the President of the United States to target you?" Ruby Freeman, the mother of now-former Fulton County elections worker Wandrea' "Shaye" Moss said in taped testimony. "The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. but he targeted me, 'Lady Ruby' - a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stood up to help Fulton County run the election in the middle of the pandemic."
Freeman was a volunteer at State Farm Arena on Election Night 2020, a fateful event that launched them into the crosshairs of the most powerful man in the world as he sought to overturn Georgia's election results and remain in office.
The two were among the small handful of people who stayed late at State Farm Arena counting ballots into the early morning after most workers, observers and media members had left due to a misunderstanding about whether counting was done for the night.
State and local officials pressed for counting to resume after it had stopped, and surveillance video of the events at State Farm Arena was seized on by Trump and conspiracists pushing the fraud narrative.
Last year, Reuters reported in extensive detail on the campaign of harassment that flowed from the president toward Moss and Freeman.
"The two women told Reuters about threats of lynching and racial slurs, along with alarming visits by strangers to (their) homes," that report said. "Moss, 37, avoided leaving her home except for work and said she remains wracked with anxiety and depression."
Freeman, in the taped testimony, explained how she proudly used to wear a shirt with the moniker she was known around town by - "Lady Ruby."
After she and her daughter became the focus of Trump's attacks, she said she would never wear that shirt again. Freeman can no longer broadcast the name she was known by her whole life, that she built a business on, without fear she testified.
"I've lost my name, I've lost my reputation, I've lost my sense of security - all because a group of people starting with No. 45 (Trump) and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen," Freeman said.
Moss spoke of the feelings of guilt the harassment campaign left her with, the feeling that it was her fault her family was being targeted.
She said it "turned my life upside down."
"I felt horrible, I felt like it was all my fault, like if I would have never decided to be an elections worker - I could've done anything else, but that's what I decided to do - and now people are lying, and spreading rumors and lies and attacking my mom, I'm her only child, going to my grandmother's house. I'm her only grandchild. And my kid - I just felt so bad... I felt horrible for picking this job," she said.
"It wasn't your fault," California Rep. Adam Schiff (D) told her.
She also detailed the lasting after-effects the events had on her.
"I don't go to grocery store, I don't do nothing anymore. I don't wanna go anywhere. I second guess everything that I do," she said. "It's affected my life in a major way, in every way. All because of lies for me doing my job, same thing I've been doing forever."
The mother, Freeman, spoke of how she was advised to leave her home where she's lived for 21 years by the FBI ahead of Jan. 6. IT left her feeling homeless, she said.
"I can't believe this person (Trump) has caused this much damage to me and my family, to have to leave my home that I've lived there for 21 years," Freeman testified on video.
For her resilience, Moss was named one of five Profile in Courage Award winners by the JFK Presidential Library in April. It praised her for continuing to work for the Fulton County elections office "doing the hard and unseen work to run our democracy." despite "the onslaught of random, undeserved, and malicious attacks."
Moss has since left the role, and noted in pointed testimony on Tuesday that everyone else in the State Farm Arena video also don't work in elections in Fulton County any longer.