Jan. 6 committee hearing live stream: Panel hears from Cassidy Hutchinson, who says Trump knew of potential for violence

WASHINGTON – Cassidy Hutchinson, a key aide to Donald Trump’s White House, told the House of Representatives committee investigating the violent January 6, 2021 uprising on Tuesday that Trump had been told by supporters that he had to the officials to “let my people in” and march towards the Capitol.

Trump demanded to accompany them, he said, and at one point grabbed the steering wheel of the presidential limousine, after being told by security officials that it was not safe. Hutchinson, who was an aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Mendowe, said she was told that by Mendous.

He said he was not sure what he would do at the Capitol as a violent mob of supporters stormed him.

Hutchinson said Trump had instructed his staff, in obscene terms, to remove metal detection magnetometers that he believed would slow down supporters gathered in Washington. In a recorded testimony that was played before the committee, he remembered the former president saying words with the meaning: “I do not care that they have weapons.”

“He’s not here to hurt me. Get the dude in. Let my people in. They can walk into the Capitol from here,” Hutchinson testified.

As Trump spoke to thousands of supporters in the Ellipse behind the White House – and more gathered at the Washington Monument, Hutchinson said, she received an angry phone call from minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who had just heard him speak. that he was coming to the Capitol. “Don’t go up here,” McCarthy told her before she hung up.

In the days before the attack, Hutchinson said she was “scared and nervous about what might happen” before the uprising after talks with Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Meadows and others.

“Things can get very bad,” Meadows told Hutchinson. Giuliani told her it would be “a wonderful day” and “we will go to the Capitol”. He described Meadows as “indifferent” as security officials told him that people at the Trump rally had guns – including people wearing armor and carrying automatic weapons.

A month earlier, Hutchinson said, she had heard noise inside the White House at the time of an Associated Press article in which then-Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had found no voter fraud that could affect the outcome. .

He said he entered a room and noticed ketchup dripping on a wall and broken porcelain. The president, as it turned out, had thrown his lunch on the wall in disgust for the article and she was called to walk away from it.

The 25-year-old, who was a special aide and aide to former Trump chief executive Mark Meadows, has already provided a compilation of information to congressional investigators and has participated in four closed-door interviews. But the committee convened a hearing this week to hear its public statement.

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Mississippi spokesman Bennie Thompson, chair of the committee, said in recent days the committee had received information about what Trump and his aides were saying during the critical hours of January 6 and that it was crucial for the American people to hear this information immediately.

The committee’s vice president, Wyoming MP Liz Cheney, said the hearing would shed light on Trump’s behavior at the time, the “actions and statements” of senior advisers, and also what they knew about the prospect of violence in the days before the violent attack. . She told the panel in previous interviews that Meadows had been warned of possible unrest.

Her appearance was covered with extraordinary secrecy. The committee announced the surprise hearing with just 24 hours notice and Hutchison’s appearance was confirmed to the Associated Press only by a person who knows the subject.

While it is unclear what new evidence he could provide Tuesday, Hutchinson’s testimony is likely to tell a first-hand account of Trump’s campaign of pressure and how the former president responded after the violence began, more vividly than any other. another witness called by the committee. That’s enough.

SEE ALSO: Election Lies Cause Deadly Attack on US Capitol

In brief excerpts from court records, Hutchinson told the committee she was in the White House meeting room where election challenges were discussed and debated, including with several Republican lawmakers. In one case, Hutchinson described seeing Meadows cremating documents after a meeting at his office with Scott Perry MP R-Pa., Politico reported in May.

He also revealed that the White House adviser’s office had warned against plans to recruit fake voters in swinging states, including meetings attended by Mendous and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The president’s lawyers said the plan was not “legally valid,” Cassidy said.

During her three separate submissions, Hutchinson also testified about her boss’s surprise trip to Georgia weeks after the election to oversee the verification of signatures on absentee ballots and ask questions about the process.

He also described how Jeffrey Clark – a senior Justice Department official who backed Trump’s false allegations of electoral fraud and whom the president thought of naming the attorney general – was a “frequent presence” in the White House.

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The conspiracy to oust then-Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen was unveiled during a meeting on Jan. 3, 2021, at the Oval Office, when other senior Justice Department officials warned Trump that he would step down if he succeeded him. Rosen. with Clark.

The House panel did not explain why it suddenly scheduled the hearing at 1pm as lawmakers are absent from Washington for a two-week break. The commission said last week that there would be no further hearings until July.

The exact subject of Tuesday’s hearing remained unclear, but the commission’s announcement Monday said it would be “to present recent evidence and receive witness testimony.” A spokesman for the commission declined to give further details, and Hutchinson’s lawyer did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

MORE: 6 in 10 Americans say Trump should be blamed for the January 6 uprising, according to a poll

The person who knew the committee’s plans to summon Hutsinson could not discuss the matter in public and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The nine-member committee’s investigation continued during the hearings, which began three weeks ago on the attack by Trump supporters. Among the evidence, the commission received recent footage of Trump and his inner circle before and after Jan. 6 by British director Alex Holder.

Holder said last week that he complied with the congressional summons to hand over all the plans he made in the final weeks of Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, including exclusive interviews with Trump, his children and then-Vice President Mike Penn. .

Mississippi Sen. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the committee, told reporters last week that the committee was in possession of the material and needed more time to spend the video hours.

The panel has held five hearings so far, most notably Trump’s campaign of pressure on various powers in the weeks leading up to a joint congressional hearing on Jan. 6, when hundreds of Republican supporters violently pushed police into the building and stormed the building. of Democrat Joe Biden winning the presidential election.

The commission used the hearings to describe in detail the pressure from Trump and his allies on Pence, the states certifying Biden’s victory, and the Justice Department. The panel used live interviews, videotapes of private witness interviews and footage from the attack to clarify what it learned.

Lawmakers said last week that the July 2 hearings would focus on domestic extremists who violated the Capitol that day and what Trump did as the violence unfolded.


Associated Press authors Nomaan Merchant and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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