Jan. 6 committee hearing puts Arizona’s ‘consequential’ 2020 election results in spotlight

Jun 13, 2022, 2:15 PM

PHOENIX – Arizona’s “consequential” 2020 presidential election results, and how they were reported, were in the spotlight for part of Monday morning’s Jan. 6 committee hearing.

Fox News Channel was the first media outlet to call Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden on election night, setting off a firestorm at and around the conservative network.

Former Fox political editor Chris Stirewalt, whom the channel laid off about two months after the election, appeared before the committee to answer questions about how that call was made.

“We knew it [Arizona] would be a consequential call because it was one of five states that really mattered” in addition to swing states Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania, he said.

Stirewalt testified that Fox was working off different data and research than its competitors, which allowed the network to correctly call Arizona first. He said his decision team was unanimously in favor of making the call when it did.

“We looked around the room, everybody says ‘yay,’ and on we go,” he said. “And by the time we found out how much everybody was freaking out and losing their minds over this call, we were already trying to call the next state. We had already moved on.”

The committee played a clip of Fox calling Arizona for Biden, with anchor Bret Baier calling it “a big get.”

Bill Stepien, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, said “there was surprise at the call.” Jason Miller, a Trump campaign senior adviser, said it “completely” shifted the attitude at the White House.

Miller said there was “both disappointment with Fox and concern that maybe our data or our numbers weren’t accurate.”

Stepien and Miller appeared in clips from their previously recorded testimony. Stepien had been scheduled to appear in-person but canceled Monday morning after his wife went into labor, delaying the start of the proceedings by 45 minutes.

The nine-member House committee interviewed more than 1,000 people during its 11-month investigation and is presenting its findings in a series of hearings. Monday’s was the second of seven scheduled hearings.

The bipartisan panel has been making a case that Trump is responsible for the events of Jan. 6, 2021, because his repeated false claims of voter fraud, both before and after the election, provoked a mob of his supporters to violently attack the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying Biden’s victory.

Monday’s hearing showed how campaign advisers, top government officials and family members were dismantling Trump’s false claims of voting fraud on election night but he went ahead and tried to claim victory the next day, alleging the the election was stolen.

“My belief, my recommendation was to say that votes were still being counted, it’s too early to tell, too early to call the race,” Stepien said.

But Trump “thought I was wrong. He told me so.”

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., opened the hearing by saying Trump “betrayed the trust of the American people” and “tried to remain in office when people had voted him out.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Stock image of a brush fire. A brush fire disrupted traffic on U.S. Highway 93 northwest of metro P...

Vehicle fire spreads to brush, disrupts traffic on US 93 northwest of metro Phoenix

A brush fire disrupted traffic on U.S. Highway 93 northwest of metro Phoenix on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

10 hours ago

mugshots of suspects connected to scottsdale stabbing...

2 arrested after stabbing incident at extended stay hotel near Old Town Scottsdale

Two people were arrested over the weekend following a stabbing incident at an extended stay hotel near Old Town Scottsdale, authorities said.

10 hours ago

cop lights...

2 injured, including MCSO deputy, after collision in Glendale

Two people, including a county deputy, were injured Wednesday morning following a collision involving two vehicles in Glendale.

10 hours ago

Phoenix firefighters work to extinguish fire. (Phoenix Fire Department)...

Brandon Gray

At least 21 displaced after alley fire spreads to Phoenix homes

At least 21 people have been displaced after two house fires Tuesday evening near the area of 16th and Oak streets. 

10 hours ago

Stock photo of a rainbow Pride flag. Tempe, Arizona, police are investigating an incident where the...

Brandon Gray

‘Hate has no place in Tempe:’ City Hall Pride Flag burned, police investigating

Tempe police are investigating an incident where the City Hall Pride flag was taken from a flagpole and burned Wednesday. 

10 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/City of Apache Junction Government)...

Delaney Penn

Apache Junction rehabilitates monumental sign that was damaged due to wildfires

Apache Junction has rehabilitated a monumental sign on the northeast entrance of State Route 88 that was damaged by wildfires.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Jan. 6 committee hearing puts Arizona’s ‘consequential’ 2020 election results in spotlight