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Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s unexpected Jan. 6 hearing

Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s unexpected Jan. 6 hearing



Our witness today is Miss Cassie Hutchinson who served in the Trump administration in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs from 2019 to 2020 and as *** special assistant to the president in the White House Chief of Staff’s Office from March 2020 through January 2021. I will now swear in our witness. The witness will please stand and raise her right hand. You swear *** firm on the penalty of perjury. That the testimony you’re about to give is the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help you. God thank you. You may be seated as the record reflect the witness answered in the affirmative. I now recognize myself for questions Miss Hutchinson, I’d like to start with *** few questions about your background. These these are some photographs we’ve obtained highlighting your career. These show you with members of Congress including steve Scalise as well as the White House with leader Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordans. Others show you with the President And members of Congress aboard Air Force one before you worked in the White House, you worked on Capitol Hill for Representative steve Scalise, the Republican whip and Senator Ted Cruz. And then in 2019 you moved to the White House and served there until the end of the Trump administration in 2020 when you started at the White House, you served at in the Office of Legislative Affairs. We understand that you were initially hired as *** staff assistant but was soon promoted to *** position of greater responsibility. Can you explain your role for the committee When I moved over to the White House Chief of Staff’s office with Mr Meadows when he became the 4th chief of staff. It’s difficult to describe *** typical day. Um I was *** special assistant to the President and an advisor Advisor to the Chief of Staff the days depending on what the president was doing that day and that’s kind of how my portfolio was reflected. I had *** lot of outreach with members of Congress, senior cabinet cabinet officials. We would work out work on policy issues with relevant internal components and members on the hill as well as security protocol at the White House complex for Mr Meadows and the President. And then you were you received another promotion in March 2020 at that time you became the principal aide to the new White House Chief of Staff. Mark Meadows, is that right? What did *** typical day look like for you in your work with Mr Meadows? It varied with what was going on. We spent *** lot of time on the hill. I spent time on the hill independently to as I was his liaison for Capitol Hill. Um We did *** lot of presidential travel engagements, but mostly I was there to serve what the Chief of Staff needed and *** lot of times what the Chief of Staff needed was *** reflection of what the President’s schedule was detailed to do that day. So is it fair to say that you spoke regularly in your position, both with members of Congress and with senior members of the trump administration. That’s correct. That’s *** fair assessment, sir. And would you say that in your work with Mr Meadows, you are typically in contact with him and others in the White House throughout the day? That’s correct, sir. Mr Meadows and I were in contact almost pretty much throughout every day consistently, although so much of grave importance happens in the west wing of the White House. It’s quite *** small building above me. On the screen, you can see *** map of the first floor of the West wing of the White House. On the right, you can see the President’s Oval office on the left? The Chief of Staff’s office suite Within the Chief of Staff’s office suite is the heart of the West wing was your desk which was between the Vice President’s office? This cursed office and the oval office, Miss Hutchinson. Is this an accurate picture of where you were located? It’s accurate. It’s *** lot smaller than it looks. Absolutely. MS Hutchins. This is *** photo that shows the short distance between your office and the President’s Oval office And it only takes 5-10 seconds or so to walk down the hall from your office to the Oval Office. Is that right? Thank you pursuant to the Section five c. Eight of House resolution 503. The Chair recognizes Joan woman from Wyoming MS Cheney for questions? Thank you very much. Mr Chairman Mr. Chairman We will begin today with an exchange that first provided Miss Hutchinson *** tangible sense of the ongoing planning for the events of January six On January 2, 4 days before the attack on our Capitol President Trump’s lead lawyer, Mr Giuliani was meeting with White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows and others. Miss Hutchinson. Do you remember Mr Giuliani meeting with Mr Meadows on January 2, 2021. I do. He met with Mr Meadows in the evening of two January 2021 And we understand that you walked Mr Giuliani out of the White House that night. Um and he talks to you about January six. What you remember him saying? As Mr Giuliani and I were walking to his vehicles that evening. He looked at me and said something to the effect of CASS are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be *** great day. I remember looking at him saying Rudy, could you explain what’s happening on the six? He had responded something to the effect of we’re going to the capital, It’s going to be great, the president is going to be there. He’s going to look powerful. He’s gonna be with the members. He’s going to be with the Senators? Talk to the Chief about it? Talk to the chief about it. He knows about it. And did you go back then, up to the West Wing and tell Mr Meadows about your conversation with Mr Giuliani, I did after Mr Giuliani had left the campus that evening. I went back up to our office and I found Mr Meadows in his office on the couch. I was scrolling through his phone, remember leaning against the doorway and saying he had an interesting conversation with brody Mark. It sounds like we’re going to go to the capital. He didn’t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of there’s *** lot going on CASS but I don’t know. Things might get real real bad on January six. Miss Hutchinson. Mr Meadows is engaged in litigation with the committee to try to avoid testifying here. Um What what was your reaction when he said to you, things might get real real bad In the days before January two, I was apprehensive about the six. I had heard general plans for *** rally. I had heard tentative movements to potentially go to the capital. But When hearing Rudy’s take on January six. And then mark’s response. That was the first that evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on January six and I had *** deeper concern for what was happening with the planning aspects of it. Thank you. Mr Jensen. Today, we’re gonna be focusing primarily on the events of january 5th and sixth at the White House? But to begin and to frame the discussion, I want to talk about *** conversation that you had with Mr john Ratcliffe, The director of national intelligence. And you had this conversation in December of 2020. Mr Ratcliffe was nominated by President trump to oversee US intelligence are the US intelligence community. Uh and before his appointment, Mr Ratcliffe was *** Republican member of Congress. As you will see on this clip, director at Cliff’s comments in December of 2020 were prescient, my understanding was Mr Director Ratcliffe didn’t want much to do with the post election period, felt that it wasn’t something that the White House should be pursuing. It felt it was dangerous for the President’s legacy. He had expressed to me that he was concerned that it could spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous either for our democracy or the way that things were going for the sex. When you say it wasn’t something that should be. What’s the end trying to fight the results of the election, fighting missing ballots, pressuring, filing lawsuits in certain states where there didn’t seem to be significant evidence and reaching out to state legislatures about. That’s pretty much the way that the White House was handling the post election period. He felt that that could be dangerous repercussions in terms of precedent set for elections for democracy, for the sex. He was hoping that we would conceive. So Miss Hutchinson. Now we’re going to turn to certain information that was available before January four and what the Trump administration and the president knew about the potential for violence before January six. On the screen, you will see an email received by Acting Deputy Attorney General Donahue on January four from the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Mr Donohue testified in our hearings last week. The email identifies apparent planning by those coming to Washington on January 6 to quote, occupy federal buildings and discussions of quote invading the Capitol Building. Here’s what Mr Donahue said to us and we knew that if you have tens of thousands of very obsessive people showing up in Washington, D. C. That there was potential for violence. U. S. Secret Service was looking at similar information and watching the planned demonstrations. In fact, their intelligence division sent several emails to White House personnel like Deputy Chief of Staff Tony or Nado and the head of the president’s protective detail robert engle, including certain materials listing events like those on the screen. The White House continued to receive updates about planned demonstrations, including information regarding the proud boys, organizing and planning to attend events on January six. Although MS Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the proud boys for January six. She did note this. I recall hearing the word oath keeper and hearing the word proud boys closer to the planning of the January six rally when Mr Giuliani would be around On January three, the Capitol Police issued *** special event assessment in that document. The capitol police noted that the proud boys and other groups planned to be in Washington D. C. On january 6th and indicated that quote, unlike previous post election protests, the targets of the pro trump supporters are not necessarily the counter protesters as they were previously, But rather Congress itself is the target. On the 6th, Of course, we all know now that the proud boys showed up on January six marched from the Washington Monument to the Capitol that day and lead the riotous mob to invade and occupy our capital. Miss Hutchinson. I want to play you *** clip of one of our meetings When you described *** call on January four that you received from national security adviser Robert O’Brien on the same topic, potential violence. On January six, I received *** call from robert O’brien, the national security adviser. He had asked if he could speak with Mr Meadows about potential violent words of violence that he was hearing that we’re potentially going to happen on the hill. In january 6th, I had asked if he connected with Tony or Nado because Tony Granato had *** conversation with him with Mark about that topic, robert had said I’ll talk to Tony and then um I don’t know robert ever connected with Mark about the issue. Miss Hutchinson, Can you describe for us, Mr tornadoes responsibilities as Deputy chief of Staff. The Deputy Chief of Staff position at the White House for Operations is arguably one of the most important positions that somebody can hold. They’re in charge of all security protocol for the campus and all presidential protectees, primarily the president and the first family. But anything that requires security for any individual that has presidential protection. So the Chief of Staff or the National Security Advisor as well as the Vice President’s team to Tony would oversee all of that. He was the conduit for Security protocol between White House Staff and the United States Secret Service. Thank you. And you also described *** brief meeting between Mr or Nado and Mr Meadows on the potential for violence. Uh the meeting was on January four. They were talking about the potential for violence on January six. Let’s listen to *** clip of that testimony. Remember Mr or Nado had talked to him about intelligence reports. I remember mr tornado coming in and saying that we had intel reports saying that there could potentially be violence on this on the sixth. You also told us about reports of violence and weapons that the secret service were receiving on the night of January five And throughout the day on January six. Is that correct? That’s correct. There are reports that police in Washington D. C. Had arrested several people with firearms or ammunition following *** separate pro trump rally in Freedom plaza on the evening of january 5th. Are those some of the reports that you recall hearing about they are Of course the world now knows that the people who attacked the Capitol on January six had many different types of weapons. When *** president speaks, the Secret Service typically requires those attending to pass through metal detectors, known as magnetometers or mags. For short, the Select committee has learned that people who willingly entered the enclosed area for president trump’s speech were screened so they could attend the rally at the ellipse. They had weapons and other items that were confiscated. Pepper spray knives, brass knuckles, tasers, body armor, gas masks, batons, blunt weapons, and those were just from the people who chose to go through the security for the President’s event on the ellipse, not the several 1000 members of the crowd who refused to go through the mags and watched from the lawn near the Washington monument. The select committee has learned about reports from outside the magnetometers and has obtained police radio transmissions identifying individuals with firearms, including *** R. Fifteen’s near the ellipse on the morning of january 6th. Let’s listen. Okay, As individuals in *** tree, give me *** white male about six ft tall. 10 bill brown cowboy boots. He’s got blue jeans and *** blue jean jacket and underneath the blue jean jacket complainants both saw stock. *** ar 15 with *** group of individuals. About 5858 Other individuals, two of the individuals in that group at the base of the tree near the Porta potties were wearing green fatigues, green, olive drab. About 5859, skinny, skinny white males, brown cowboy boots? They had glock pistols in their subject um, weapon on his right hip is in the tree motor one, make sure PPD knows they have an elevated threat in the tree south side of Constitution Avenue. Look for the don’t tread on me. Flag american flag facemask cowboy boots, weapon on the white right side hip. Three men walking down the street carrying *** ar 15 4 independent AR 15 at 14th and independence. As you saw in those emails, the first report that we showed, We now know was sent in the 8:00 on January 6th. This talked about people in the crowd wearing ballistic helmets and body armor carrying radio equipment and military grade backpacks. The second report we showed you on the screen was sent by the Secret Service in the 11 a.m. Hour and it addressed reports of *** man with *** rifle near the ellipse Miss Hutchinson. In prior testimony, you described for us *** meeting in the White House around 10 a.m. In the morning of january 6th involving Chief of Staff Meadows and Tony or nado. Were you in that meeting? I was let’s listen to your testimony about that meeting and then we’ll have some questions. I think the last time we talked, you mentioned that some of the weapons that people had at the rally included? Flagpoles, oversized sticks or flagpoles, bear spray. Is there anything else that you recall hearing about? The people who had gathered on your lips? As I recall Tony and I having *** conversation with marc probably around 10 am 10 15 a.m. Where I remember Tony mentioning knives, guns in the form of pistols and rifles. Um bear spray, body armor, spears and flagpoles. Spears were one item flagpoles for one item. And then Tony had related to me something to the effect of and these I think people are fascinating spheres onto the ends of flagpoles. Miss Hutchinson. Here’s *** clip of your testimony regarding Mr Meadows response to learning that the rally attendees were armed that day. What was Mark’s reaction Mr Meadows reaction to this list of weapons that people had in the crowd. When Tony and I went in to talk to Mark that morning, Marcus sitting on his couch and on his phone which is something typical. And remember Tony just got right into it was like I just wanna let you know and informed him like this is how many people we have outside the mags right now, these are the weapons that were known to have. It’s possible he listed more weapons off that I just don’t recall. Um and gave him *** brief but and concise explanation but also fairly fairly thorough and I remember distinctly marked not looking up from his phone and I remember Tony finishing his explanation and it’s taking *** few seconds for Mark To the point where I almost said, Mark, did you hear him. Um And then bark china was like, alright, anything else? Still looking down at his phone and Tony looked at me and I looked at Tony and he said no sir, do you have any questions? What are you hearing? And I looked at Tony and I was like so he just told you about what was happening down at the rally and he was like yeah I know. And then he looked up and said have you talked to the President? And Tony said yes sir, he’s wearing two. And he said all right good. He asked Tony if Tony had informed the President, and Tony said yes he had. So Miss Hutchinson, is that your understanding that Mr or Nado told the president about weapons at the rally on the morning of January six. That’s what Mr renato related to me. And here’s how you characterize Mr Meadows general response when people raised concerns about what could happen on January six. So at the time, in the days leading up to the 6th, there were lots of public reports about how things might go bad on the sex, even the potential for violence, if I’m hearing you correctly, what stands out to you is that Mr Meadows do not share those concerns or at least did not act on those concerns. Did not act on those concerns would be but other people raise them to to him. Like in this exchange, you mentioned this or not. Uphold them aside, Miss Hutchinson, we’re gonna show now an exchange of texts between you and Deputy Chief of staff or not. Oh, um and these text messages were exchanged while you were at the ellipse. Um in one text you write. But the crowd looks good from this vantage point. As long as we get the shot, he was effing furious. And the text messages also stressed that president trump kept mentioning the OTR and off the record movement. We’re gonna come back and ask you about that in *** minute. But could you tell us, first of all who it is in the text? Who was furious? The he and that text that I was referring to was the president and why was he furious? Miss Hutchinson? He was furious because he wanted the arena that we had on the ellipse to be maxed out at capacity for all attendees. The advance team had related to him that the mags were free flowing. Everybody who wanted to come in had already come in, but he still is angry about the extra space and wanted more people to come in and did you go to the rally in the presidential motorcade? I was there, yes. In the motorcade. And were you backstage uh with the president and other members of his staff and family and you told us, Miss Hutchinson about particular comments that you heard while you were in the tent area, when we were in the offstage announced area tent behind the stage, he was very concerned about the shot meaning the photograph that we would get because the rally space wasn’t full. Um one of the reasons which I previously stated was because he wanted it to be full and for people to not feel excluded because they’ve come far to watch him at the rally. Um, and he felt the Mags were at fault for not letting everybody in. But another leading reason and likely the primary reason is because he wanted it full and he was angry that we weren’t letting people through the Mags with weapons what the Secret Service steams as weapons and are our weapons. But when we were in the off stage and now it’s tent, I was part of *** conversation, I was in the I was in the vicinity of *** conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, you know, I don’t even care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me, take the effing bags away, let my people in, they can march the capital from here, let the people in take the effing bags away. Just to be clear, Miss Hutchinson, is it your understanding that the President wanted to take the Mags away and said that the armed individuals were not there to hurt him. That’s *** fair assessment. The issue wasn’t with the amount of space available in the official rally area, uh, only, but instead that people did not want to have to go through the mags. Let’s listen to *** portion of what you told us about that in this particular instance. It wasn’t the capacity of our space. It was the Mags and the people that didn’t want to come through. And that’s what Tony had been trying to relate to him that morning. You know, it’s not the issues that we encountered on the campaign. We have enough space or they don’t want to come in right now. They have weapons, they don’t want confiscated by the Secret Service and they’re fine on the mall. They can see you on the mall and they they want to march straight to the capital from the mall. The president apparently wanted all attendees inside the official rally space and repeatedly said, quote, they’re not here to hurt me. And and just to be clear. So, um, he was told again in that conversation or was he told again in that conversation that people couldn’t come through the mags because they had weapons. And um, that people and his response was to say they can march to the capital from, from the ellipse something effective. Take the effing Mags away, they’re not here to hurt me, let them in, let my people in, they can march the capital after the rally is over. They can march from, they can march from the ellipse. Take the effing bags away, then they can march to the capital. Miss Hutchinson. What we saw when those clips were playing were photos provided by the National Archives showing the president and the offstage tent before his speech on the ellipse. You were in some of those photos as well. And I just want to confirm that that is when you heard the President say that people with weapons weren’t there to hurt him and that he wanted the Secret Service to remove the magnetometers. That’s correct. In the photos that you displayed, we were standing towards the front of the tent with the TVs really close to where he would walk out to go onto the stage. These conversations happened 2-3 minutes before he took the stage that morning. Let’s reflect on that for *** moment. President trump was aware that *** number of the individuals in the crowd had weapons and were wearing body armor and here’s what President trump instructed the crowd to do. We’re gonna walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re gonna walk down, we’re gonna walk down anyone you want. But I think right here we’re gonna walk down to the capitol and the crowd, as we know, did proceed to the capital, it soon became apparent to the Secret Service, including the Secret Service teams in the crowd along with White House staff. The security at the capitol would not be sufficient. I haven’t two or three phone conversations with Mr coronado and we were at the ellipse and then I had four men on mr Meadows detail with me in between. Yes, those individuals and then *** few other bodies on the ground, Secret Service doing advance. They’re getting notifications through their radios and Mr one phone conversation and called Me & said, make sure the chief knows that they’re getting closer to the capital. It’s um double stacking bodies. MS Hutchinson, when you you said they were having trouble stacking bodies. Did you mean that law enforcement at the capital? Uh needed more people to defend the capital from the rioters? It was becoming clear to us and to the Secret Service that capitol police officers were getting overrun at the security barricades outside of the capitol building. And they were having short, they were short people to defend the building against the rioters. And you mentioned that Mr or Nado was conveying this to you because he wanted you to tell Mr Meadows. Uh So did you, did you tell Mr Meadows that people were getting closer to the capitol that capitol police was having difficulty. After I had the conversation with Mr Meadows, Mr After I had the conversation with Mr Coronado, I went to have the discussion with Mr Meadows, he was in *** secure vehicle at the time making *** call. So when I had gone over to the car, I went to open the door to let him know and he had immediately shut it. I don’t know who he was speaking with. Um it wasn’t something that he regularly did, especially when I would go over to give him information. So I was *** bit taken aback, but I didn’t think much of it and thinking that I would be able to have the conversation with him *** few moments later. And were you able to have that conversation *** few moments later? Probably about 20-25 minutes later. There was another period in between where he shut the door again. Um and then when he finally got out of the vehicle, we had the conversation, but at that point there was *** backlog of information that he should have been made aware of. And so you opened the door to the control car and Mr Meadows pulled it shut. That’s correct. And he did that two times. That’s correct. And when you finally were able to give Mr Meadows the information um about the violence at the capitol, what was his reaction? He almost had *** lack of reaction. I remember him saying all right, something to the effect of how much longer is does the President have left in this speech again? Much of this information about the potential for violence was known or learned before the onset of the violence early enough for President trump to take steps to prevent it. He could, for example, have urged the crowd at the ellipse not to march to the capital. He could have condemned the violence immediately once it began, or he could have taken multiple other steps. But as we will see today and in later hearings, President trump had something else in mind. One other question at this point, MS Hutchinson, were you aware of concerns that White House Counsel Pat said bologna or eric Hirschman had about the language President trump used in his ellipse speech. There are many discussions the morning of the 6th about the rhetoric at the speech that day. In my conversations with Mr Hershman, he had relayed that we would be foolish to include language that had been included at the President’s request, which headlines along to the effect of fight for trump, we’re going to march the capital, I’ll be there with you. Fight for me. Fight for what we’re doing. Fight for the movement. Um things about Vice President at the time too. Both Mr Hershman and White House Counsel’s Office were urging the speech writers to not include that language for legal concerns and also for the optics of what it could portray the President wanting to do that day. And we just heard the President say that he would be with his supporters as they marched to the capitol, even though he did not end up going, he certainly wanted to Um some have questioned whether President Trump genuinely planned to come here to the capital on January six in his book, Mark Meadows falsely wrote That after President Trump gave his speech on January six, he told Mr Meadows that he was quote speeding, speaking metaphorically about the walk to the Capitol. As you will see. Donald trump was not speaking metaphorically As we heard earlier. Rudy Giuliani told Miss Hutchinson that Mr Trump plans to travel to the capital on January six. I want to pause for just *** moment to ask you MS Hutchinson to explain some of the terminology you will hear today we’ve heard you used two different terms to describe plans for the president’s movement, the capital or anywhere else. One of those is *** scheduled movement and another one is otr could you describe for us what each of those mean *** scheduled presidential movement is on his official schedule, it’s notified to the press and to *** wide range of staff that will be traveling with him. It’s known to the public, known to the Secret Service and they’re able to coordinate the movement days in advance and off the record movement is confined to the knowledge of *** very very small group of advisers and staff. Typically *** very small group of staff would travel with him mostly that are just included in the national security package. You can pull an off off the record movement together and less than an hour. Um It’s *** way to kind of circumvent having to release it to the press if that’s the goal of it or to not have to have as many security parameters put in place ahead of time to make the movement happen. Thank you. And let’s turn back now to the president’s plans to travel to the capital. On January six. We know that White House counsel Pat Cipollone, E was concerned about the legal implications of such *** trip and he agreed with the Secret Service that it shouldn’t happen. Miss Hutchinson, did you have any conversations with Patsy Baloney about his concerns about the president going to the Capitol on January six on january 3rd, Mr Sipple only had approached me knowing that Mark had raised The prospect of going up to the Capitol on January six. Mr sip alone. And I had *** brief private conversation where he said to me, we need to make sure that this doesn’t happen. This would be legally *** terrible idea for us. We have serious legal concerns. If we go up to the capitol that day and he then urged me to continue relaying that to Mr Meadows because it’s my understanding that Mr Sipple oni thought that Mr Meadows was indeed pushing this along with the President. And we understand MS Hutchinson that you also spoke to Mr sip alone on the morning of the sixth as you were about to go to the rally on the ellipse. And Mr Siblani said something to you like make sure the movement to the capital does not happen, Is that correct? That’s correct. I saw Mr Sipple oni right before I walked out onto west exact that morning and Mr Siblani said something to the effect of please make sure we don’t go up to the capitol Cassidy, keep in touch with me, we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen. And do you remember which crimes Mr Speroni was concerned with? In the days leading up to the six, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral account. Let’s hear about some of those concerns that you mentioned earlier in one of your interviews with us, having *** private conversation Pat, late in the afternoon of third or the fourth um that Pat was concerned it would look like we were obstructing justice or obstructing the Electoral College Count. And I apologize for probably not being very with my legal terms here, but um that it would look when we’re obstructing what was happening on capitol hill. And he was also worried that it would look like we were inciting *** riot or encouraging *** riot to erupt on the capitol at the capitol. Mhm. Mhm. In fact, in the days before january 6th and on january 6th itself, president trump expressed to multiple White House aides that he wanted to go to the capital after his speech. Here’s what various White House aides have told the committee about the President’s desire to go to the capitol. Did the President tell you this that he wanted to speak at the capitol during the media in the dining room. Did the, the idea of the president Um proceeding or walking to the capital on the 6th after his speech come up walking to the capital? no driving to the capital. It came out. Okay. How did it come up? And what was discussed? You brought it up? He said I want to go down to the Capitol. What about him marching to the capital on the 6th? Um Yes tell us about that. So it’s kind of *** general thing. I mean, to get into the specifics of it. I I was aware of desire of the president to potentially march to the or *** company, the um rally attendees to the capital. When did you first hear about this idea of the president accompanying rally attendees to the capital on the sixth? This was at the sixth. This was during the um after he finished his remarks when the President said that he would be going to the capitol during his speech on the ellipse, the Secret Service scrambled to find *** way for him to go. We know this from witnesses and the Secret Service also from messages among staff on the President’s National Security Council. The NsC staff were monitoring the situation in real time and you can see how the situation evolved in the following chat log that the committee has obtained. As you can see, Nsc staff believed that mogul. The president was quote, going to the capitol and quote, they are finding the best route now from these chats. We also know the staff learned of the attack on the capitol in real time when president trump left the ellipse stage at 1 10, the staff knew that rioters had invaded the inaugural stage and capitol police were calling for all available officers to respond. When Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy heard the President say he was going to the capitol. He called you Miss Hutchinson. Isn’t that right? That’s correct. And in this text message, you told Tony Coronado, quote McCarthy just called me too. And do you guys think you’re coming to my office? Tell us about the call that day with Leader McCarthy during the President’s speech on the ellipse. I was still in the tent behind the stage and when you’re behind the stage you can’t really hear what’s going on in front of you. So when Mr McCarthy called me with this information, I answered. The colonies sounded *** rush but also frustrated and angry at me and I was confused because I didn’t know what the President had just said. Um He then explained the President just said he’s marching to the capitol. You told me this whole week. You aren’t coming up here. Why would you lie to me? I said, I’m I’m not lying. I wasn’t lying to you, sir. I we’re not going to the capitol and he said, well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy figure it out. Don’t come up here. I said all I’ll run the traps on this. Not I’ll shoot you *** text. I can assure you we’re not coming up to the capital. We’ve already made that decision. He pressed *** little bit more believing me but I think frustrated that the President had said that and we ended the phone conversation after that. I called Mr renato to reconfirm that we weren’t going to the capital and which is also in our text messages. I sent Mr McCarthy another text telling him the affirmative that we were not going up to the capitol and he didn’t respond after that. And we understand Miss Hutchinson that the plans for the president to come up to the capitol Um had included discussions at some point about what the president would do when he came up to the Capitol on January six. Uh Let’s look at *** clip of one of your interviews discussing that issue with the committee when you were talking about *** scheduled movement. Did um anyone say what the president wanted to do when he got here? No. Not that I can specifically remember. I remember, I remember hearing *** few different ideas discussed with between Mark and scott perry Mark and Rudy Giuliani. I don’t know which conversations were elevated to the president. I don’t know what he personally wanted to do when he went up to the capitol that day. Um You know I know that there were discussions about him having another speech outside of the capital before going in. I know that there is *** conversation about him going into the House chamber at one point, As we’ve all just heard in the days leading up to January six, on the day of the speech both before and during and after the rally speech, President trump was pushing his staff to arrange for him to come up here to the capital during the electoral vote count. Let’s turn now to what happened in the President’s vehicle when the Secret Service told him he would not be going to the capital after his speech. First. Here is the president’s motorcade leaving the Ellipse after his speech on January six, Miss Hutchinson. When you return to the White House in the motorcade after the President’s speech. Where did you go When I returned to the White House I walked upstairs towards the Chief of Staff’s office and I noticed mr Granado lingering outside of the office. Once we had made eye contact, he quickly waved me to go into his office which was just across the hall from mine. When I went in he shut the door, I noticed bobby angle who was the head of Mr trump’s security detail sitting in *** chair looking somewhat discombobulated and *** little lost. Um I looked at Tony and he had said, did you even hear what happened in the Beast? He said no, Tony. I just got back. What happened? Tony proceeded to tell me that when the President got in the Beast, he was under the impression from Mr Meadows that the off the record movement to the capital was still possible and likely to happen. But that bobby had more information. So once the President had gotten into the vehicle with bobby, he thought that they were going up to the capitol and when bobby had related to him, we’re not we don’t have the assets to do it, it’s not secure. We’re going back to the West Wing. The President had very strong, very angry response to that. Um Tony described him as being irate. The President said something to the effect of I’m the effing president, take me up to the capital now, to which bobby responded, sir, we have to go back to the West Wing. The President reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr Engel grabbed his arm said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing, we’re not going to the capitol Mr trump. Then used his free hand to lunge towards bobby angle and mr when Mr Renato had recounted this story to me, he had motion towards his clavicles and was Mr Engel in the room as Mr Coronado told you this story. Did Mr Engel correct or disagree with any part of the story for Mr or nado. Mr angle did not correct or disagree with any part of the story. Did Mr Engel or Mr or Nado ever after that? Tell you that what Mr or Nado had just said was untrue, Neither Mr coronado nor Mr. Engel told me ever that it was untrue. And despite this altercation, this physical altercation during the ride back to the White House President trump, still demanded to go to the capital. Here’s what Kayleigh Mcenany, the White House press secretary at the time, wrote in her personal notes and told the committee about president trump’s desire to go to the capitol after returning to the White House when you wrote post wanted to walk to the capitol. Was that based solely on what the president said during his speech or anything that he or anybody else said afterwards. So, to the best of my recollection, I believe when we got back to the White House, he said he wanted to physically walk with the marchers and according to my notes, he then said, uh you’d be fine with just writing the Beast. But that’s my recollection, he wanted to be *** part of the march in some fashion. Okay. And just for the record, the beast refers to the presidential limousine president trump did not go to the capitol that day. We understand that he blamed Mark Meadows for that. So prior to leaving the rally site when he got off the stage and everybody was making the movement back to the motorcade. I had overheard Mr Meadows say to him then as I had prior to Mr trump taking the stage that morning um that he was still working on getting off the record movement to the capital. So Mr trump took the stage. He was under the impression via Mr Meadows that it was still possible. So when he got off the stage I had relieved Mr Meadows that I had another conversation with Tony, the movement was still not possible. Mr Meadows said okay and then as they proceeded to go to the motorcade um and Mr Meadows had reiterated, we’re gonna work on it. So I talked to bobby, bobby has more information. Mark got into his vehicle, to my understanding trump, got into the beast and after we had all arrived back at the White House later in the day, it had been released me via *** mark that the president wasn’t happy that bobby didn’t pull it off for him and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books. The physical altercation that MS Hutchinson described in the presidential vehicle was not the first time that the president and become very angry about issues relating to the election. On December 1 2020. Attorney General Barr said in an interview that the Department of Justice had not found evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election, Miss Hutchinson, how did the president react to hearing that news around the time that I understand the ap article went live? I remember hearing noise coming from down the hallway, so I poked my head out of the office and I saw the valet walking towards our office. He had said get the chief down to the dining room, The president wants him. So Mark went down to the dining room and came back to the office *** few minutes later, after Mark had returned, I left the office and went down to the dining room and I noticed that the door was propped open in the valley was inside the dining room, changing the tablecloth off of the dining room table. He motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room, near the fireplace mantel. In the tv where I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there’s *** shattered porcelain plate on the floor. The valet had articulated that the President, I was extremely angry at the Attorney General’s ap interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall um which was causing them to have to clean up. So I I grabbed *** towel and started wiping the catch up off the wall to help the valet out. Um and he said something to the effect of, he’s really ticked off about this, I would stay clear of him for right now he’s really, really ticked off about this right now Miss Hutchinson, was this the only instance that you are aware of where the president through dishes? It’s not. And are there other instances in the dining room that you recall where he expressed his anger? There were there were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth um to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely breaker go everywhere. And Miss Hutchinson, Attorney General Barr described to the committee the President’s angry reaction when he finally met with President trump. Let’s listen. And uh I said, look, I I uh know that you’re dissatisfied with me and I’m glad to offer my resignation and he pounded the table very hard. Everyone sort of jumped and he said, except it. Mr. Chairman, I reserve jim woman reserves the chair requests those in the hearing room to remain seated until the capitol police have escorted our witness from the room, pursuant to the order of the committee of today. The chair declares the committee in recess for *** period of approximately 10 minutes

The House select committee investigating the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, reconvened Tuesday for a hastily scheduled hearing, featuring testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Hutchinson has cooperated extensively with the investigation, having sat for four closed-door depositions.During her testimony in front of the panel on Tuesday, she revealed how then-President Donald Trump and his inner circle were warned about the potential for violence on Jan. 6, and how Trump wanted to join the throngs of his supporters at the U.S. Capitol that day.The testimony bolstered the narrative that the committee has been driving toward over the last few weeks: That Trump incited and supported the riots as part of an attempt at a second term and that many of his top advisers thought his schemes were illegal.Watch the first half of Hutchinson’s testimony in the video above.Here are takeaways from Hutchinson’s key testimony.Trump and his chief of staff were warned about violence — including armed attendees of rallyHutchinson testified that Trump was aware of the potential for violence, but forged ahead on Jan. 6 with his attempts to rile up his supporters to interfere with the joint session of Congress to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.She said Trump was told that morning that weapons were being confiscated from some of his supporters who came for his rally. Later, when Trump and his team were at the Ellipse — the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House — and before his speech, Trump told staffers to “take the mags away” — referring to the metal detectors — because the people in the crowd, “They’re not here to hurt me.”Trump also said, “I don’t care that they have weapons,” according to Hutchinson. Hundreds of Trump’s diehard supporters soon stormed the Capitol, many carrying knives, bear spray, metal poles, tasers and a few guns.When Hutchinson told her boss, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, about early reports of weapons getting confiscated, Meadows didn’t even look up from his phone, Hutchinson said. Two days earlier, he told her that “things might get real, real, bad on Jan. 6.””The potential for violence was learned or known before the onset of the violence, early enough for President Trump to have taken steps to prevent it,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the panel’s GOP vice chair. She added that Trump could have urged his supporters not to march to the Capitol, or condemned the violence more quickly, but didn’t, because he “had something else in mind.”Trump intended to go to the Capitol and pushed to do so until the last minuteThe select committee effectively proved as much on Tuesday by featuring a mix of witness testimony and White House records that show Trump intended to join his supporters at the Capitol and was pushing to do so just minutes before the violence began to escalate.It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol, but Hutchinson’s testimony established for the first time that people around Trump had advance knowledge of this plan.The reality of Trump’s intentions became clear to national security officials in real time as they learned the Secret Service was scrambling to find a way for the president to travel to the Capitol while he was on stage urging his followers to march, according to National Security Council chat logs from that day that were revealed for the first time during Tuesday’s hearing.The NSC chat logs provide a minute-by-minute accounting of how the situation evolved from the perspective of top White House national security officials on Jan. 6 and, along with witness testimony delivered on Tuesday, contradict an account by Meadows in his book where he says Trump never intended to march to the Capitol.”MOGUL’s going to the Capital … they are clearing a route now,” a message sent to the chat log at 12:29 p.m. ET on Jan. 6 reads — referring to the former president’s secret service code name.”MilAide has confirmed that he wants to walk,” a 12:32 p.m. message reads. “They are begging him to reconsider.””So this is happening,” a message sent at 12:47 p.m. states.Hutchinson also testified that some in Trump’s orbit had made clear days before Jan. 6 that Trump wanted to travel to the U.S. Capitol.She told the committee Tuesday that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on Jan. 2 — four days before the U.S. Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters — that “we’re going to the Capitol” on Jan. 6, and that Trump himself was also planning to be there. Hutchinson shares secondhand account of incident where Trump reached for steering wheelHutchinson testified Tuesday that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel.Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on Jan. 6 repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol.According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the president. Take me up to the Capitol now.”Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand “lunge” at Engel.Engel and Ornato have both testified to the committee behind closed doors, but their statements were not used in the hearing Tuesday.Cipollone warned: ‘People are going to die’Trump defended the rioters chanting for the hanging of then-Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, according to Hutchinson.Hutchinson relayed a conversation she observed between White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Meadows after they discussed with Trump the chants to inflict violence on Pence.”I remember Pat saying something to the effect of ‘Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice president to be hung,'” Hutchinson recalled.Meadows replied, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong,” according to Hutchinson.Cipollone responded, “This is crazy. We need to be doing something more.”Hutchinson testified that Cipollone had previously rushed into Meadows’ office after rioters breached the Capitol and told Meadows what had happened, and said they needed to go meet with Trump.”Mark, something needs to be done, or people are going to die and the blood’s gonna be on your hands,” Cipollone told Meadows, according to Hutchinson. “This is getting out of control.”‘There was a large concern’ in White House of the 25th Amendment being invoked after riotTrump delivered a speech on Jan. 7, 2021, finally acknowledging that Biden would be inaugurated in part because there was a “large concern” by the White House that Pence and the Cabinet could invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from power, according to Cassidy’s testimony.Hutchinson also testified that Trump did not want to include references in the speech to prosecuting the pro-Trump rioters, but instead wanted to float pardons for them. After the White House Counsel’s office pushed back, Trump did mention pardons in that speech.If the 25th Amendment had been invoked, Trump could’ve put his presidency up for a vote before Congress, where two-thirds would have been necessary to kick him out.”There was a large concern of the 25th Amendment potentially being invoked, and there were concerns about what would happen in the Senate if it was,” Hutchinson testified.The thinking at the time was that Trump needed the speech “as cover” to protect himself from the threat of his Cabinet trying to oust him from power, Hutchinson said. She said that was a “secondary reason” for Trump to give the speech; the first was that Trump needed to condemn the violent attack to try and prevent it from becoming his legacy.While Trump gave the speech effectively conceding the election, he wanted to remove calls for “prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent” from early drafts of his Jan. 7 speech, according to Hutchinson, but wanted to float pardons to his supporters.”He didn’t want that in there,” Hutchinson said. “He wanted to put in that he wanted to potentially pardon them.””He didn’t think that they did anything wrong,” said Hutchinson, referring to the pro-Trump rioters. “The people who did something wrong that day-or-the person who did something wrong that day was Mike Pence, by not standing with him.”Hutchinson calls Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 ‘un-American’ and ‘unpatriotic’In emotional and powerful testimony, Hutchinson said Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6 was “unpatriotic” and “un-American.”The committee asked Hutchinson to describe her real-time reaction from Jan. 6, when Trump attacked Pence in a tweet at 2:24 p.m. ET, which was after his supporters invaded the Capitol, forcing Pence, lawmakers, and staffers to run for their lives.”As a staffer … I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really, it felt personal. It was really sad,” Hutchinson said. “As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We’re watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie. And it was something that was really hard in that moment to digest. … I still struggle to work through the emotions of that.”Her condemnation of Trump’s behavior may shed some light on her motivations for coming forward with so much damaging information about Jan. 6. Committee members have heaped praise on Hutchinson and other Republicans who have testified, calling them patriots.Committee teases evidence of witness tamperingThe committee has secured testimony from some major witnesses members of Trump’s inner circle, even members of his family. But Cheney suggested during the hearing that there might be a Trump-imposed blockade of sorts and that the panel has evidence of witness tampering.She said one witness — whom the committee did not identify — testified that: “What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump world.”Another unidentified witness said they were told by someone in Trump’s orbit that Trump was “thinking about you” and that “he knows you’re loyal” and hopes that “you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”Cheney said the committee takes this “seriously” and will be considering “next steps,” potentially hinting at a criminal referral, for possible witness tampering or obstruction. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee chairman, issued a public plea for more cooperation, saying to potential witnesses that if “you discovered some courage you had hidden away somewhere, our doors remain open.”Trump has denied all wrongdoing regarding Jan. 6 and the related investigations.

The House select committee investigating the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, reconvened Tuesday for a hastily scheduled hearing, featuring testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

Hutchinson has cooperated extensively with the investigation, having sat for four closed-door depositions.

During her testimony in front of the panel on Tuesday, she revealed how then-President Donald Trump and his inner circle were warned about the potential for violence on Jan. 6, and how Trump wanted to join the throngs of his supporters at the U.S. Capitol that day.

The testimony bolstered the narrative that the committee has been driving toward over the last few weeks: That Trump incited and supported the riots as part of an attempt at a second term and that many of his top advisers thought his schemes were illegal.

Watch the first half of Hutchinson’s testimony in the video above.

Here are takeaways from Hutchinson’s key testimony.

Trump and his chief of staff were warned about violence — including armed attendees of rally

Hutchinson testified that Trump was aware of the potential for violence, but forged ahead on Jan. 6 with his attempts to rile up his supporters to interfere with the joint session of Congress to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.

She said Trump was told that morning that weapons were being confiscated from some of his supporters who came for his rally. Later, when Trump and his team were at the Ellipse — the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House — and before his speech, Trump told staffers to “take the mags away” — referring to the metal detectors — because the people in the crowd, “They’re not here to hurt me.”

Trump also said, “I don’t [expletive] care that they have weapons,” according to Hutchinson. Hundreds of Trump’s diehard supporters soon stormed the Capitol, many carrying knives, bear spray, metal poles, tasers and a few guns.

When Hutchinson told her boss, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, about early reports of weapons getting confiscated, Meadows didn’t even look up from his phone, Hutchinson said. Two days earlier, he told her that “things might get real, real, bad on Jan. 6.”

“The potential for violence was learned or known before the onset of the violence, early enough for President Trump to have taken steps to prevent it,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the panel’s GOP vice chair. She added that Trump could have urged his supporters not to march to the Capitol, or condemned the violence more quickly, but didn’t, because he “had something else in mind.”

Trump intended to go to the Capitol and pushed to do so until the last minute

The select committee effectively proved as much on Tuesday by featuring a mix of witness testimony and White House records that show Trump intended to join his supporters at the Capitol and was pushing to do so just minutes before the violence began to escalate.

It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol, but Hutchinson’s testimony established for the first time that people around Trump had advance knowledge of this plan.

The reality of Trump’s intentions became clear to national security officials in real time as they learned the Secret Service was scrambling to find a way for the president to travel to the Capitol while he was on stage urging his followers to march, according to National Security Council chat logs from that day that were revealed for the first time during Tuesday’s hearing.

The NSC chat logs provide a minute-by-minute accounting of how the situation evolved from the perspective of top White House national security officials on Jan. 6 and, along with witness testimony delivered on Tuesday, contradict an account by Meadows in his book where he says Trump never intended to march to the Capitol.

“MOGUL’s going to the Capital … they are clearing a route now,” a message sent to the chat log at 12:29 p.m. ET on Jan. 6 reads — referring to the former president’s secret service code name.

“MilAide has confirmed that he wants to walk,” a 12:32 p.m. message reads. “They are begging him to reconsider.”

“So this is happening,” a message sent at 12:47 p.m. states.

Hutchinson also testified that some in Trump’s orbit had made clear days before Jan. 6 that Trump wanted to travel to the U.S. Capitol.

She told the committee Tuesday that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on Jan. 2 — four days before the U.S. Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters — that “we’re going to the Capitol” on Jan. 6, and that Trump himself was also planning to be there.

Hutchinson shares secondhand account of incident where Trump reached for steering wheel

Hutchinson testified Tuesday that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel.

Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on Jan. 6 repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol.

According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the [expletive] president. Take me up to the Capitol now.”

Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand “lunge” at Engel.

Engel and Ornato have both testified to the committee behind closed doors, but their statements were not used in the hearing Tuesday.

Cipollone warned: ‘People are going to die’

Trump defended the rioters chanting for the hanging of then-Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, according to Hutchinson.

Hutchinson relayed a conversation she observed between White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Meadows after they discussed with Trump the chants to inflict violence on Pence.

“I remember Pat saying something to the effect of ‘Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice president to be [expletive] hung,'” Hutchinson recalled.

Meadows replied, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong,” according to Hutchinson.

Cipollone responded, “This is [expletive] crazy. We need to be doing something more.”

Hutchinson testified that Cipollone had previously rushed into Meadows’ office after rioters breached the Capitol and told Meadows what had happened, and said they needed to go meet with Trump.

“Mark, something needs to be done, or people are going to die and the blood’s gonna be on your [expletive] hands,” Cipollone told Meadows, according to Hutchinson. “This is getting out of control.”

‘There was a large concern’ in White House of the 25th Amendment being invoked after riot

Trump delivered a speech on Jan. 7, 2021, finally acknowledging that Biden would be inaugurated in part because there was a “large concern” by the White House that Pence and the Cabinet could invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from power, according to Cassidy’s testimony.

Hutchinson also testified that Trump did not want to include references in the speech to prosecuting the pro-Trump rioters, but instead wanted to float pardons for them. After the White House Counsel’s office pushed back, Trump did mention pardons in that speech.

If the 25th Amendment had been invoked, Trump could’ve put his presidency up for a vote before Congress, where two-thirds would have been necessary to kick him out.

“There was a large concern of the 25th Amendment potentially being invoked, and there were concerns about what would happen in the Senate if it was,” Hutchinson testified.

The thinking at the time was that Trump needed the speech “as cover” to protect himself from the threat of his Cabinet trying to oust him from power, Hutchinson said. She said that was a “secondary reason” for Trump to give the speech; the first was that Trump needed to condemn the violent attack to try and prevent it from becoming his legacy.

While Trump gave the speech effectively conceding the election, he wanted to remove calls for “prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent” from early drafts of his Jan. 7 speech, according to Hutchinson, but wanted to float pardons to his supporters.

“He didn’t want that in there,” Hutchinson said. “He wanted to put in that he wanted to potentially pardon them.”

“He didn’t think that they did anything wrong,” said Hutchinson, referring to the pro-Trump rioters. “The people who did something wrong that day-or-the person who did something wrong that day was Mike Pence, by not standing with him.”

Hutchinson calls Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 ‘un-American’ and ‘unpatriotic’

In emotional and powerful testimony, Hutchinson said Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6 was “unpatriotic” and “un-American.”

The committee asked Hutchinson to describe her real-time reaction from Jan. 6, when Trump attacked Pence in a tweet at 2:24 p.m. ET, which was after his supporters invaded the Capitol, forcing Pence, lawmakers, and staffers to run for their lives.

“As a staffer … I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really, it felt personal. It was really sad,” Hutchinson said. “As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We’re watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie. And it was something that was really hard in that moment to digest. … I still struggle to work through the emotions of that.”

Her condemnation of Trump’s behavior may shed some light on her motivations for coming forward with so much damaging information about Jan. 6. Committee members have heaped praise on Hutchinson and other Republicans who have testified, calling them patriots.

Committee teases evidence of witness tampering

The committee has secured testimony from some major witnesses members of Trump’s inner circle, even members of his family. But Cheney suggested during the hearing that there might be a Trump-imposed blockade of sorts and that the panel has evidence of witness tampering.

She said one witness — whom the committee did not identify — testified that: “What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump world.”

Another unidentified witness said they were told by someone in Trump’s orbit that Trump was “thinking about you” and that “he knows you’re loyal” and hopes that “you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

Cheney said the committee takes this “seriously” and will be considering “next steps,” potentially hinting at a criminal referral, for possible witness tampering or obstruction. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee chairman, issued a public plea for more cooperation, saying to potential witnesses that if “you discovered some courage you had hidden away somewhere, our doors remain open.”

Trump has denied all wrongdoing regarding Jan. 6 and the related investigations.

Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s unexpected Jan. 6 hearing Source link Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s unexpected Jan. 6 hearing

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