Hutchison was on the inside, she was on Trump team, and as an aide to the Chief of Staff, and special assistant to the president, she once worked for House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, but she is also a familiar face on Capitol Hill because she held a prominent role in the White House Legislative Affairs Office, and now held a prominent role right inside the White House, with her office several steps down the hall from the Oval Office. At 25-years old, Cassidy Hutchinson was almost as ‘inside’ as inside gets.
So, in a surprise hearing Tuesday, up she steps, with an insider testimony under oath at what was conspiring in the White House from around January 2nd all the way through the 6th, and into the 7th.
Why was this hearing called now? Why did they change their minds and not recess till July, what was the urgency? Well, wait for it.
She was cognicent of reports that came in, attitudes, what she heard, what she saw, what she knows. Tales of tantrums, assaults on Secret Service detail, indifference to calling off the mob storming the Capital, and so much more, she laid it all out there.
And, they knew, they knew the events of the 6th could get violent.
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: In the days before January 2nd, I was apprehensive about the 6th. I had heard general plans for a rally. I had heard tentative movements to potentially go to the Capitol. But when hearing Rudy’s take on
January 6th and then Marc’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 6th. And I had a deeper concern for what was happening with the planning aspects of it.NPR.org – Transcript of 6th Jan. 6 committee hearing – 06/28/2022
She described a president unhinged, out of touch with reality.
Basically, the Capital Police were set up, the President of the United States condoned the violence, didn’t care about the violence, because he knew he was protected, and they were no threat to him.
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: I received a call from Robert O’Brien, the National Security Advisor. He had asked if he could speak with Mr. Meadows about potential violent — words of violence that he was hearing that were potentially going to happen on the Hill on January 6th. I had asked if he had connected with Tony Ornato, because Tony Ornato had a conversation with him, with Mark, about that topic.
Robert had said, I’ll talk to Tony, and then I don’t know if Robert ever connected with Mark about the issue.IBID
They had intelligence reports of a real potential for violence on the 6th, credible reports of weapons were reported on the evening of the 5th.
LIZ CHENEY: Of course, the world now knows that the people who attacked the Capitol on January 6th had many different types of weapons. When a 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 thousand
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 AR-15s, near the Ellipse on the morning of January 6th.IBID
Previous testimony has confirmed Trump knew the claims of voter fraud were without any merit whatsoever, as even his own legal team had told him that, repeatedly. Barr quit because of this lie, even with all the evidence to the contrary, Trump still went after state officials to get them to give him what he needed from them.
And, the Big Lie was in full swing.
Trump knew his actions were illegal.
We know this as Hutichinson testified they asked the president for pardons.
I mean seriously, a real Mr. President if you don’t behave we will turn this car around moment, and various reports of throwing his lunch across the room testimony, the man was completely unhinged.
Why? Well, let’s see, because they wouldn’t take him to the Capital as the riot unfolded, so he is reportedly tried to grab the wheel. Or, when he found out Barr would not go along with their little plot to pretend the election was stolen, and when Barr told him as such, he threw his food. Or, when they forced him to make a statement he did not want to make, because, he Pence deserved it, and apparently had no problem with the mob kidnapping Pelosi, no problem with the violence, the weapons and mayhem on Capital Hill, and he wanted to be at the centre of it?
What, orchestrating the chaos? Directing the violence? The mighty general conducting his troops to battle? Storm the Capital, force them to make him President, and revel in the violence his magats wrought?
He wanted to be, well, crowned king on the steps of the capital?
Em, can you see COUP!
Oathkeepers had a weapons stash just outside D.C. in Virginia, police had confiscated pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, tasers, body armor, gas masks, batons, blunt weapons, AR-15s and glocks were apprehended, and Hutchinson testified she overheard Trump telling them to turn off the Mags and let everyone in to the Ellipse.
But when we were in the offstage announce tent, I was part of a conversation — I was in — I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the President say something to the effect of, you know, I – – I don’t effing care that they have weapons.
They’re not here to hurt me. Take that effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.IBID
She testified some on the Mall didn’t want to go into the protected zone because they didn’t want their weapons to be confiscated.
Yeah, so chew on that.
Hutchinson’s testimony laid it all bare.
Yet, for those of us paying close attention, most of her testimony wasn’t new, just new to hear it from the mouth of someone right at the centre of it all under oath to testify to it all. To confirm what we had heard, read, whispered through the news web, reported on under the guise of ‘sources close to the president’.
We knew, but we didn’t KNOW.
Tantrums and otherwise aside, there would seem to be a few folks who may have some major legal exposure. Em, starting with Meadows, Giuliani, and all the usual suspects… well, and the man at the centre of the shyt show.
So, and maybe this is the most important bit, Cassidy Hutchinson testified to the J6 committee 4 times, the last time though she had a new lawyer, a lawyer who was not tied to the Trump team.
Of course, the right-wing maga mouths are boiling over with character assassinations, and tellingly only refuting the most delicious, yet, insubstantial bits of her testimony. Ya know, like does it really matter if the man-child threw a tantrum, tried to strangle a security detail, throw his food around the room? Nope.
But, it does matter if they all knew there was a valid and serious threat of violence on January 6th, and many inside the Trump team warned him, and he didn’t only not do anything, or care, he wanted them to open up security, so his crowd size at the Ellipse would be larger.
He knew they were marching to the Capital, that they had weapons, and a violent intent, and when told about the chants of hang Mike Pence… what was his response?
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: It wasn’t until Mark hung up the phone, handed it back to me. I went back to my desk a couple of minutes later. Him and Pat came back, possibly Eric Herschmann too. I’m pretty sure Eric Herschmann was there, but I’m — I’m confident it was Pat that was there. 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 f’ing hung. And Mark had responded something to the effect of, you heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong, to which Pat said something, this is f’ing crazy, we need to be doing something more. Briefly stepped into Mark’s office, and when Mark had said something — when Mark had said something to the effect of he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong. Knowing what I had heard briefly in the dining room coupled with Pat discussing the hanging Mike Pence chants in the lobby of our office and then Mark’s response, I understood “they’re” to be the rioters in the Capitol that were chanting for the vice president to be hung.
LIZ CHENEY: Let me pause here on this point. As rioters chanted hang Mike Pence, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, said that “Mike deserves it,” and that those rioters were not doing anything wrong. This is a sentiment that he has expressed at other times as well. In an interview with ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl, President Trump was asked about the supporters chanting hang Mike Pence last year.
Instead of condemning them, the former president defended them.IBID
Oh, yes, there is more. Much, much more… Cheney finished off the hearing with tidbits of testimony of witness tampering. Yip.
Hutchinson also testified concerning certain, um, individuals legal exposure in regards their role in obstructing the Electoral College count, inciting a riot, or encouraging a riot to erupt on the Capitol. And Trump expressed to multiple aides he wished to go to the Capital after his speech.
But first, more testimony on the aftermath…
LIZ CHENEY: Ultimately, members of the White House staff, Sarah Matthews, Cabinet members Secretary Chao and Secretary DeVos resigned as well. Here is Secretary DeVos’s resignation letter. As you can see, in resigning on January 6th, Secretary DeVos said to the president, “There’s no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.” Let’s also look at Secretary Chao’s resignation statement.
When Secretary Chao resigned, she spoke of the January 6th attack and she said, “As I am sure is the case with many of you, this is deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.” Ms. Hutchinson, in our prior interviews, we’ve asked you about what the president’s advisers were urging him to do during the attack.
You’ve described roughly three different camps of thought inside the White House that day. Can you tell us about those?
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: There was a group of individuals that were strongly urging him to take immediate and swift action. I would classify the White House Counsel’s Office, Mr. Herschmann, Ms. Ivanka Trump in that category of really working to get him to take action and pleading with him to take action. There was a more neutral group where advisors were trying to toe the line, knowing that Mr. Trump didn’t necessarily want to take immediate action and condemn the riots, but knowing something needed to be done.
And then there was the last group, which was deflect and blame. Let’s blame Antifa. These aren’t our people. It’s my understanding that Mr. Meadows was in the deflect and blame category, but he did end up taking a more neutral route, knowing that there were several advisors in the president’s circle urging him to take more action, which I think was reflected in the rhetoric released later that day in the videos.
Deflect and blame. And why? Because folks inside the White House, those around the president, they were seriously talking about invoking the 25th Amendment, as that’s how unhinged Trump was. Sure, some quit, but others just hung on for dear life, weathering the storm, I suppose, come what may. I mean, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Even getting Trump to make the speech, calling off the mob, that was forced out of him. His statements in the coming days, weeks, now months, prove he saw virtually not a thing wrong with the actions of the mob of violence and mayhem that descended on Capital Hill, January 6th.
In part of her testimony, Hutchinson confirmed the president had instructed Mark Meadows to contact General Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon…
…regarding what would play out the next day. Ms. Hutchinson, Is it your understanding that President Trump asked Mark Meadows to speak with Roger Stone and General Flynn on January 5th?
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: That’s correct. That is my understanding.IBID
Why would he need to speak to them?
Well, who knows, but what we do know is what Steve Bannon has openly said on his own podcast, and that General Flynn, under oath, when asked if he believed the violence on January 6th was justified morally, legally, and, to whether or not he believe(s) in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America? He pled the fifth. So, there’s that.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.
And, for witness tampering, well, we were left a few crumbs.
Our committee commonly asks witnesses connected to Mr. Trump’s Administration or campaign whether they’ve been contacted by any of their former colleagues or anyone else who attempted to influence or impact their testimony. Without identifying any of the individuals involved, let me show you a couple of samples of answers we received to this question.
First, here is how one witness described phone calls from people interested in that witness’ testimony. Quote, “What they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I’m on the right 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.” “And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts.
And just keep that in mind as I proceed through my interviews with the committee.” Here’s another sample in a different context. This is a call received by one of our witnesses. Quote, “A person let me know you have your deposition tomorrow.” “He wants me to let you know he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.” I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns.
We will be discussing these issues as a committee, carefully considering our next steps. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I yield back.IBID
And, so ended the 6th January 6th hearing till, well, I guess mid-July. But, I guess today’s surprise hearing tells us that if new, important information needs to be shared before such time, they will not hesitate to bring it forward.
This testimony left one with a lot of questions, but moreso, it left you with the clear and present danger that Cassidy Hutchinson put herself in by testifiing publically. Her brave contenance, and unwavering recollection of the facts as she knew them, her memories of these events, as someone located barely 2 doors down from the Oval Office, the aide of the presidents Chief of Staff, she was right there in the thick of it the whole time. She heard it all.
Will this testimony encourage more Trump administration, whether lowly or close to the centre, I guess we shall see.