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Trump Campaign Chief to Headline Jan. 6 Hearing on Election Lies


WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol plans to make use of the testimony of former President Donald J. Trump’s own campaign manager against him on Monday because it lays out evidence that Mr. Trump knowingly spread the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him in an try and overturn his defeat.

The committee plans to call Bill Stepien, the ultimate chairman of Mr. Trump’s campaign, who is anticipated to be asked to detail what the campaign and the previous president himself knew about his fictitious claims of widespread election fraud. Those claims can be the main focus of the second in a series of hearings the panel is holding this month to disclose the findings of its sprawling investigation.

After an explosive first hearing last week in prime time, leaders of the committee are aiming to maintain up a gentle stream of revelations in regards to the magnitude of Mr. Trump’s plot to overturn the election and the way it sowed the seeds of the violent siege of the Capitol by his supporters last 12 months.

On Monday, they plan to explain the origin and spread of Mr. Trump’s election lies, including the previous president’s refusal to take heed to advisers who told him that he had lost and that there was no evidence of widespread irregularities that would change the end result. Then they plan on demonstrating the chaos those falsehoods caused throughout several states, ultimately leading to the riot.

A committee aide said the panel would focus particularly on Mr. Trump’s decision on election night to declare victory despite the fact that he had been told he didn’t have the numbers to win.

A second panel of witnesses will include Byung J. Pak, a former U.S. attorney in Atlanta who resigned abruptly after refusing to say that widespread voter fraud had been present in Georgia.

In keeping with an internal memo made public as a part of a court case, the Trump campaign knew as early as November that its outlandish fraud claims were false. Last week, the panel showed videotaped testimony of his top advisers and even the attorney general on the time, William P. Barr, saying that that they had told Mr. Trump and top White House officials as much.

Mr. Stepien was present for key conversations about what the information showed about Mr. Trump’s probabilities of succeeding in an effort to win swing states, starting on election night. He was a part of a gathering with Mr. Trump on Nov. 7, 2020, just after the election had been called by television networks in favor of President Joseph R. Biden Jr., by which he told Mr. Trump of the exceedingly low odds of success along with his challenges.

Mr. Trump, urged on by his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, desired to press forward anyway.

Mr. Stepien, who rarely speaks in public, is appearing under subpoena, raising questions on how willing a witness he can be against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Stepien is currently serving as an adviser to Harriet Hageman, a Republican endorsed by Mr. Trump who’s mounting a primary challenge to Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the panel’s vice chairwoman, organising a potentially adversarial dynamic for his questioning on Monday.

The Jan. 6 committee suggested in a letter sent to Mr. Stepien that it had evidence that he was aware that the campaign was raising money by making false claims about election fraud.

“As manager of the Trump 2020 re-election campaign, you oversaw all features of the campaign,” the letter said. “You then supervised the conversion of the Trump presidential campaign to an effort focused on ‘Stop the Steal’ messaging and related fund-raising. That messaging included the promotion of certain false claims related to voting machines despite an internal campaign memo by which campaign staff determined that such claims were false.”

Mr. Stepien will appear alongside Chris Stirewalt, the previous political editor at Fox News who was fired after Fox appropriately called the 2020 president election in Arizona for Mr. Biden, a move that angered Mr. Trump.

The second a part of the hearing will turn to the reverberations of Mr. Trump’s false claims across the country, particularly in competitive states. Together with Mr. Pak, who resigned after learning that Mr. Trump wanted to fireplace him for rejecting claims of rampant voter fraud in Georgia, the panel is scheduled to listen to from Al Schmidt, a Republican former city commissioner in Philadelphia who also stood as much as Mr. Trump’s lies. Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican election lawyer who served because the national counsel to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign and played a central role within the Florida recount of 2000, can also be slated to look.

Monday’s lineup of witnesses suggests that the committee desires to chart the impact Mr. Trump’s lies had in conservative media and in various states, in addition to contrasting the baseless nature of Mr. Trump’s claims with legitimate legal challenges from Republican campaigns of the past.

A committee aide said the panel would present evidence in the course of the hearing from witnesses who had investigated Mr. Trump’s claims of fraud and located them to be false.

The panel also plans to point out how Mr. Trump’s fiction of a stolen election was used as a fund-raising tool, bringing in a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of dollars between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6. A fraudulent fund-raising effort could possibly be grounds for a possible criminal referral to the Justice Department against Mr. Trump and his allies.

And a few on the committee have long believed that a method they might break through to Mr. Trump’s supporters could be to prove to them that that they had been duped into donating their money to a bogus cause.

Aides said the committee would also try on Monday to point out how the rioters who stormed the Capitol had echoed back Mr. Trump’s words, and cited him as their motivation in storming the constructing in an try and stop Congress from formalizing his defeat.

Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, is slated to play a key role presenting evidence on the hearing, aides said.

Again and again, top Trump administration officials told Mr. Trump he had lost the 2020 election. But repeatedly, Mr. Trump pressed forward along with his lies of widespread fraud.

Shortly after the election, as ballots were still being counted, the highest data expert in Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign told him bluntly that he was going to lose.

Within the weeks that followed, as Mr. Trump continued to insist that he had won, a senior Justice Department official told him repeatedly that his claims of widespread voting fraud were meritless, ultimately warning him that they might “hurt the country.”

Those concerns were echoed by the highest White House lawyer, who told the president that he could be moving into a “murder-suicide pact” if he continued to pursue extreme plans to attempt to invalidate the outcomes of the 2020 election.

Last week, the Jan. 6 panel played video of an interview showing Mr. Barr testifying that he knew the president’s claims were false, and told him so on three occasions.

“I told the president it was bullshit,” Mr. Barr is heard telling the committee’s investigators. “I didn’t need to be a component of it.”

Committee members previewed a few of the evidence they plan to present at Monday’s hearing during television news interviews Sunday.

“Former President Trump was told by multiple people — it must have been abundantly clear — that there was no evidence that showed the election was stolen, and he ignored that,” Representative Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia and a member of the committee, said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, drew a contrast between those near Mr. Trump who told him the reality and the “yes people” who encouraged his fantasy of a stolen election in an effort to please him.

“When you truly imagine the election was stolen, then if the president truly believed that, he’s not mentally capable to be president,” Mr. Kinzinger said on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” adding: “I believe he didn’t imagine it. I believe the people around him didn’t imagine it. This was all about keeping power against the desire of the American people.”

Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting.

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