Jan. 6 Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Monday that former President Trump was urged by his campaign advisers to not declare victory on Election Day, that he knew before the election that the counting of mail-in ballots would not be complete until days after the election, and that he declaration of victory came at the urging of a drunk former mayor.
“President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on Election Night, and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim he won and insist the vote-counting stop, to falsely claim everything was fraudulent,” Cheney said in previewing the day’s testimony. “He falsely told the American people the election was not legitimate. In his quotes, ‘a major fraud.’ Millions of Americans believed him.”
Cheney’s comments were followed by video testimony from former Trump aide Jason Miller, who said Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” when he spoke with Miller, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, and others on Election Night. Miller said he couldn’t speak to Giuliani’s state when he spoke with Trump. “Mayor Giuliani was saying, ‘We won it. They’re stealing it from us. Where did all the votes come from? We need to go say that we won,'” Miller added.
Giuliani testified that he spoke to Trump “several times that night.”
"I think the Mayor was definitely intoxicated."
— Jason Miller pic.twitter.com/BP6JAmRWMC
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) June 13, 2022
Giuliani responded on Tuesday, posting — and then deleting — a tweet saying that he is “disgusted and outraged” by Miller and Stepien’s testimony and alleging that they may have been paid to lie. “I REFUSED all alcohol that evening,” Giuliani claimed. “My favorite drink..Diet Pepsi.” Giuliani also tweeted a story about Miller allegedly slipping an abortion pill in his girlfriend’s drink, and another tying Stepien to the 2014 “Bridgegate” scandal in New Jersey.
Giuliani’s allies have also come to his defense, with former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, himself a target of the Jan. 6 committee, claiming Giuliani “was not drinking at all” on Election Night and that “the entire refrigerator was filled with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, he lives on it.”
Bannon is reacting in real time: Kerik insists Giuliani was not drunk because "the entire refrigerator was filled with diet coke and diet pepsi, he lives on it. I don't know what Jason's problem was" pic.twitter.com/i5sS46KJpN
— Madeline Peltz (@peltzmadeline) June 14, 2022
Regardless of how drunk he was on Election Night, Giuliani pushed Trump to contest the results of a legitimate election. Testimony from Stepien and several other Trump administration figures — including Jared Kusher — portrayed Giuliani’s advice as deeply flawed, and disagreed with the idea that Trump should claim the election was stolen. “There was my team and Rudy’s team,” Stepien testified. “I didn’t mind being characterized as ‘Team Normal.'” Kushner added that when he raised concerned about Giuliani’s strategy with his father-in-law, Trump maintained that he had confidence in Giuliani.
The committee’s second hearing is focused on how the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen took root.
Chris Stirewalt, a former Fox News editor who was fired after the election, will sit by himself on the first witness panel. Bill Stepien, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager was scheduled to sit beside Stirewalt, but backed out on Monday morning, reportedly because his wife went into labor. The second panel features Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican lawyer who worked on the 2000 Florida recount; BJay Pak, a former U.S. attorney in Georgia whom Trump pressured to help overturn the election; and Al Schmidt, a Republican official in Pennsylvania whom Trump attacked for not working to overturn the election in the Keystone State.
The committee’s first hearing last week featured several revelations about the effort to overturn the election, including that the former president explicitly condoned the riot at the Capitol as it was happening, that he said Mike Pence “deserved” to be hanged, and that multiple Republican lawmakers sought pardons for their role in the scheme.
This post has been updated.