Jan. 6 committee postpones hearing scheduled for Wednesday

Washington — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol postponed the third of its series of high-profile hearings set for Wednesday, citing scheduling conflicts and production challenges.

A committee spokesperson said the delay was “due to a number of scheduling factors, including production timeline and availability of members and witnesses.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat on the committee, said the postponement was meant to give staffers more time to prepare the committee’s extensive video presentations.

“It’s just technical issues. The staff putting together all the videos, you know, doing 1, 2, 3 — it was overwhelming. So we’re trying to give them a little room to get their work done,” Lofgren said on Capitol Hill. 

The committee will meet on Thursday for a hearing that was already on the committee’s calendar. Lofgren indicated the agenda and witness list for that meeting will remain the same. “It’s not a big deal,” she told reporters outside a meeting of House Democrats.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, a Democrat of California, said the schedule has “always been fluid” and Wednesday’s hearing will “likely” move to next week.

The panel met Monday for the second in its series of hearings examining the Jan. 6 attack and former President Donald Trump’s role in undermining the results of the 2020 election. Lawmakers showed never-before-seen footage of interviews with top officials in the Trump administration and campaign who said the former president continued to baselessly allege the election was stolen, despite their best efforts to convince him otherwise.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s Republican vice chair, said last week that the session set for Thursday would examine Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject the states’ electoral votes when Congress met to count them on Jan. 6. Pence refused, saying he had no power under the Constitution to take such a drastic step. Cheney said the committee will feature testimony from Pence’s chief of staff and general counsel about Trump’s pressure campaign.

Wednesday’s hearing was meant to examine efforts by Trump and others to influence the Justice Department to overturn the election results, particularly a campaign to replace the acting attorney general with a Justice Department official who would baselessly allege that the department had uncovered widespread fraud. 

Monday’s hearing came with its own complications, after one of the witnesses who was set to testify had to abruptly pull out. Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager in 2020, had to rush to be with his wife who had gone into labor, his lawyer said. The committee instead played video clips of Stepien’s closed-door interviews with committee investigators. 

Nikole Killion and Rebecca Kaplan contributed reporting.

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