Bill Stepien, former President Donald Trump’s campaign manager for much of 2020 and a longtime operative in New Jersey Republican circles, was set to testify before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol today – but withdrew at the last minute.
“Due to a family emergency, Mr. William Stepien is unable to testify before the Select Committee this morning,” the committee said in a brief statement. “His counsel will appear and make a statement on the record.”
After years of working in both New Jersey and national Republican politics, Stepien served as Chris Christie’s campaign manager in his successful 2009 gubernatorial bid, and became one of Christie’s top aides once he took office. Stepien managed Christie’s re-election campaign in 2013 and was the governor’s pick to be state Republican chairman, but he quickly fell from grace after his involvement in the Bridgegate lane closure scandal came to light in January 2014.
Two years after leaving Christie’s circle, Stepien joined Trump’s 2016 campaign, and four years after that he replaced Brad Parscale as Trump’s campaign manager for the final stretch of the 2020 election.
It’s that last role that the January 6th Committee, which began its series of televised hearings last week, is interested in. The committee likely intended to ask Stepien about his knowledge of, and role in, Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election and the eventual attack on the Capitol that followed.