January 6 Committee Rehashes 2020 Election Night with Trump’s Advisers

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: Video from a deposition with former President Trump advisor Rudy
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The January 6 Committee spent much of its hearing Monday playing testimony of former President Donald Trump’s closest advisers as they recalled conversations they had on election night in 2020.

The committee, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), showed clips of testimony from individuals including former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Their testimonies collectively illustrated that Trump declared victory in the early hours of November 4 despite some in Trump’s orbit not supporting that move.

Stepien, who took over as campaign manager a little more than 100 days out from the election, was asked in recorded testimony how he felt about Trump announcing he won at the end of election night while votes in several battleground states were still outstanding.

“It was far too early to be making any calls like that. Ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days,” Stepien said.

Stepien is currently advising Trump-backed Harriet Hageman in her race against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), one of the two Republicans on the committee.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers closing remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) delivers closing remarks during a January 6 Committee hearing June 13, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Stepien was scheduled to appear in person before the committee Monday but canceled at the last minute because his wife went into labor, Stepien’s attorney confirmed to the committee.

The former Trump campaign official also said he recommended Trump tell supporters at the end of election night “that votes were still being counted. It’s too early to tell, too early to call the race, but we [are] proud of the race we ran and we think we’re in a good position and we’ll have more to say about this the next day, or the next day, whenever we had something to say.”

The committee also played testimony from former Trump senior adviser Jason Miller, who recalled that “there were suggestions by I believe it was Mayor [Rudy] Giuliani to go and declare victory and say that we had won it outright.”

Miller said, “I remember saying that — to the best of my memory — I was saying that we should not go and declare victory until we had a better sense of the numbers.”

Trump’s daughter Ivanka said in recorded testimony, “I don’t know that I had a firm view as to what he should say in that circumstance. The results were still being counted. It was becoming clear that the race would not be called on election night.”

The committee also zeroed in on Trump attorney Giuliani’s mental state on election night, alleging that he was inebriated as he advised Trump — against the recommendation of others — to announce that he had won the race.

Miller, when asked if he thought anyone present on election night “had too much to drink,” responded that he thought Giuliani did but caveated that he was not aware of Giuliani’s “level of intoxication” when he spoke to Trump.

Miller spoke about Giuliani’s advice to Trump on election night, saying, “I think effectively Mayor Giuliani was saying, ‘We won it. They’re stealing it from us. Where’d all the votes come from? We need to go say that we won,’ and essentially that anyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak.”

Stepien said two teams unofficially formed after the election, those on Giuliani’s team such as attorney Sidney Powell, and those on Stepien’s team.

“I didn’t mind being characterized as being part of ‘team normal,’” Stepien said.

In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, an exhibit shows Bill Stepien, former Trump campaign manager, left, during a video interview to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol at the hearing Monday, June 13, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP)

In this image from video released by the January 6 Committee, Bill Stepien, left, speaks during a deposition played at the hearing, June 13, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP)

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, 25 years. I’ve spanned political ideologies from Trump to McCain to Bush to Christie,” Stepien continued. “I think along the way I’ve built up, I hope, a good reputation for being honest and professional, and I didn’t think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional at that point in time so that led to me stepping away.”

The committee also played supporting testimony from Giuliani, former attorney general Bill Barr, former Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt, and others.

The hearing marked the second in a series of public hearings the committee is holding, seemingly in hopes of refocusing the public’s attention on the riot that happened at the U.S. Capitol about a year and a half ago.

The committee, whose work is costing millions of dollars in taxpayer money, says its hearings are intended to summarize its investigative findings to the public “about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”

The third hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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