Ex-Trump campaign manager skips hearing on Capitol Hill assault

Washington D.C. / 13.06.2022 15:40:26

A key witness did not attend the hearing of the US Congressional committee investigating the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, but the panel went ahead with its plans to highlight former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of that the 2020 election was stolen.

The hearing started about 45 minutes late after William Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager in the closing months of the White House race, excused himself at the last minute, claiming a family emergency.

The session, the second of six public hearings expected this month, focused on Trump’s earlier insistence that his 2020 election loss was the result of widespread fraud, a baseless allegation known as the “Big Lie.” “.

The panel is holding hearings to discuss the initial findings of its investigation into what happened on Jan. 6, when thousands of Trump supporters attacked Capitol Hill as Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers gathered to certify the Republican’s loss to the Democrat. Joe Biden.

Monday’s session followed a Thursday night hearing in which testimony was presented showing that close Trump allies even his daughter Ivankathey rejected his false claims of electoral fraud. Nearly 20 million Americans watched the unusual prime-time television session.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, and he and his supporters brand the Democratic-led Select Committee a political witch hunt. Among the remaining testigos is Chris Stirewalt, former political editor of Fox News, who was initially scheduled to appear alongside Stepien.

Trump ignored the truth and preferred to listen to a drunk Giuliani, according to witnesses

The then president of the United States repeatedly ignored the advice of his advisers on election night and decided to listen to the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, that being drunk recommended that he proclaim himself the winner without waiting for the vote count to finish.

This was stated by several witnesses in recorded interviews that were reproduced this Monday at a hearing of the legislative committee investigating the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The committee recreated what happened in the White House during the election night of November 3, 2020 through the testimony of the closest advisers to Trump and his family, who portrayed the then president as someone out of touch with reality who was angry about the results and that he decided to proclaim himself the winner.

As revealed by the committee, Trump made those statements guided by Giuliani, who had urged him on several occasions to go on stage and declare victory because the Democrats were “stealing” the election.

“The mayor was definitely drunk,” he said of Giuliani, a former New York mayor, former Trump presidential campaign spokesman Jason Miller, whose remarks were played on video during the hearing.

Stepien also revealed in another taped interview that Giuliani had had too much to drink. that night and explained that several advisers, including himself, asked Trump to wait for the count to finish before making a public statement.

That night it became clear, according to Stepien, that Trump’s orbit of advisers was separated into two: “the normal team” and “the crazy team”, made up of those who promoted conspiracy theories.

Even some of Trump’s relatives asked him to listen to their advice. One of his daughters, Ivanka Trump, did not have a “firm view” on whether her father could win, but that night he reminded her that “the ballots were still being counted,” according to the video shown by the committee.

Also, Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner told the then president that he did not agree with Giuliani’s advice and that he would not follow that approach, advice his father-in-law ignored.

Monday’s witnesses were also to include Republican election attorney Ben Ginsberg, Byung J. “BJay” Pakwho resigned as US attorney for Atlanta when Trump allies questioned the Georgia election results, and Al Schmidt, the only Republican on the Philadelphia election board to come under fire after defending the integrity of the 2020 vote. .

Georgia and Pennsylvania were some of the states that supported Trump in the 2016 electionsbut they went with Biden in 2020. They have been a focus of unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.