November 30, 2023

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, offered explosive testimony Tuesday that former President Trump wanted to get to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – even grabbing the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle and lunging at his head of security when he was told he could not go, she said.

Hutchinson’s former boss has not complied with subpoenas to appear before the committee. She testified Tuesday that he and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani sought presidential pardons. 

Among Hutchinson’s extraordinary revelations was that Trump was told that the crowd at his rally at the Ellipse ahead of the Capitol riot had guns and other weapons. She testified that Trump said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t effing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away,'” referring to the magnetometers, or metal detectors, used for security screening. 

U.S. House holds public hearings on Jan. 6, 2021 assault on Capitol
Cassidy Hutchinson appears during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, at the Capitol, in Washington, June 28, 2022. 


Hutchinson also testified that Giuliani said to her on Jan. 2 “‘Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day.'”

Hutchinson said Tuesday that she asked Giuliani to explain the significance of Jan. 6. She said he responded, “We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great.The president is going to be there, he’s going to look powerful,” and he encouraged her to speak with Meadows.

After Giuliani left the White House campus, Hutchinson said she did ask Meadows about Jan. 6 and he said “‘it sounds like we’re going to go to the Capitol.'”

“‘There’s a lot going on Cass, but I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6,'” Meadows told Hutchinson, she recalled.

Hutchinson also testified about how angry Trump was after Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press in an interview after the 2020 election that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change its outcome.

Entering the dining room at the White House, Hutchinson observed a valet changing the tablecloth. The valet motioned toward the fireplace mantle and television, she said. 

“I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor,” she told the committee. “The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general’s AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall.”

Hutchinson then grabbed a towel to assist and recalled the valet told her about Trump, “he’s really ticked off about this. I would stay clear of him for right now.”

At a prior hearing, the Jan. 6 committee played video snippets of Barr’s testimony. In that snippet, he said “I went over there and I told my secretary that I would probably be fired and told not to … not to go back to my office, so I said, ‘You might have to pack up for me.”

At the end of the hearing, House Jan. 6 committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said some of the witnesses who have appeared before the committee have received messages from some of inner members of Trump’s circle. She read some of the texts, including one that said “he wants me to let you know he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal.”

“Most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said in closing, noting the committee will be discussing how to proceed.

Hutchinson’s testimony came in the middle of a two-week recess, and unexpectedly called just days after the committee said there would not be any more hearings until July. Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said that Tuesday’s hearing was called because the information Hutchinson had is “quite urgent.” 

“Ms. Hutchinson is justifiably proud of her service to the country as a special assistant to the president,” Hutchinson’s attorneys, Jody Hunt and William Jordan, said in a statement. “While she did not seek out the attention accompanying her testimony today, she believes that it was her duty and responsibility to provide the committee with her truthful and candid observations of the events surrounding January 6. Ms. Hutchinson believes that January 6 was a horrific day for the country, and it is vital to the future of our democracy that it not be repeated.”

The committee is expected to restart the hearings in July. 

The earlier hearings focused on Trump’s pressure campaigns on all branches of government, from Vice President Mike Pence and the Justice Department all the way down to state lawmakers and local elections officials

Source link