The House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot will zero in Monday on former President Donald Trump’s insistence that widespread voter fraud denied him a second term.
Bill Stepien, the 45th president’s 2020 campaign manager, had been expected to headline the witness list at the second of six public hearings held by the panel.
However, about an hour before the hearing was scheduled to begin, the committee announced that Stepien was unable to appear due to a family emergency and his attorney would give a statement on his behalf.
Stepien had been expected to face questions about discussions between Trump and his top campaign lieutenants regarding the election results.
The committee has alleged that Trump allies pushed the voter fraud narrative despite knowing full well that their candidate had lost the election fairly.
Stepien currently serves as an adviser to Harriet Hageman – the Trump-endorsed Republican seeking to oust committee vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) in a primary later this year.
The panel will also hear from former Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt about his decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden during the cable network’s election night coverage — a decision that enraged Trump and his campaign team.
The second group of witnesses will include GOP election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg, former Georgia US Attorney BJay Pak, and former Philadelphia Republican City Commissioner Al Schmidt.
All three are expected to face questions about Trump’s plan to challenge the election results, with Pak detailing pressure that the former president placed on him and other Georgia officials to overturn the state’s voting totals.
Monday’s hearing follows Thursday’s primetime spectacle that was broadcast on a dozen channels and was watched by more than 20 million Americans.
The committee’s third hearing in the sequence has been scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Trump has repeatedly lambasted the hearings and committee’s investigation, declaring it a “witch hunt.”
“This one sided Witch Hunt is a disgrace to America,” the former president posted to his social media website Truth Social on Monday. “Should never have been allowed to happen!”