Jan. 6 panel: Trump ex-campaign manager pulls out of hearing
Without a key witness, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot opened its hearing Monday after a scrambled delay as Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien abruptly pulled out of testifying, citing a family emergency.
The committee was told that Stepien’s wife was in labor, according to the panel's chairman, Rep. Benny Thompson, D-Miss. The hearing start time was pushed back while the changes were worked out.
Stepien is a key witness as the panel delves deeper into what it calls the “big lie,” the defeated Republican president’s false claims of voter fraud that fueled his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and provoked a mob of his supporters to lay siege to the U.S. Capitol.
Instead of Stepien's live testimony, the panel was showing his previously recorded interview with the panel, given behind closed doors, about what the campaign team was telling Trump as he lost the 2020 presidential election. A longtime Trump ally, Stepien had been subpoenaed to appear at the open hearing, and it was unclear if he would have been a cooperative witness.
Click HERE to watch the hearing.