Ex-White House aide testifies at Jan. 6 hearings despite threats, disparaging comments
Story Code : 1002264
During her time in the Trump White House, Hutchinson worked directly under former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and was sometimes called “the chief’s chief," Politico reported on Thursday.
The publication reported that Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the select committee from an associate of Meadows.
Hutchinson said she had received multiple phone calls from allies of the former president regarding her testimony to the committee.
“What they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I’m on the right team,” she said, adding, “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.”
Hutchinson’s testimony on Tuesday shed new light on former Trump’s actions in the lead-up to the deadly Capitol Hill attack and sparked significant new leads for the January 6 select committee’s investigation.
Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) praised Hutchinson for her testimony and characterized the messages sent to her as attempts by the Trump camp to intimidate and put pressure on her.
“I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said after presenting the messages for intimidation.
“We will be discussing these issues as a committee and carefully considering our next steps,” Cheney added.
In a post-hearing interview, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) described the messages sent to intimidate Hutchinson as possibly indicative of witness tampering.
“The vice chair released two different episodes of potential witness tampering, anonymously, for obvious reasons. We don’t want further intimidation of the same people,” Raskin told The Washington Post. “But we want this to be a warning to the people who are doing it that they can’t do it. It is a crime and this committee is taking it very seriously.”
Hutchinson testified before the House January 6 select committee’s panel for nearly two hours on Tuesday as well as gave recorded depositions in advance of the hearing.
In her testimony, she vividly described her experience at the White House close to Meadows and then-President Trump during the final days leading up to and including the Capitol Hill attack.
She described how Trump and Meadows had been repeatedly told in advance and on the day of the attack about the possibility of violence, including from armed individuals at the rally.
In her testimony, Hutchinson revealed that Trump was personally warned and fully informed of the potential for violence on January 6, yet he forged ahead with his attempts to rile up his supporters to attack Congress where lawmakers were busy certifying Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 US presidential election.
The bombshell testimony by Hutchinson helps prove that Trump incited and supported the attack on Capitol Hills as part of a desperate plan to steal a second term and that many of his top advisers went along with Trump's plans despite knowing that the attempted power grab was an act against law.
Meanwhile, since her blockbuster testimony at the Jan. 6 committee, Trump and his lackeys have been attempting to damage Hutchinson's reputation. 'I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and "leaker"), and when she requested to go with certain others of the team to Florida after my having served a full term in office, I personally turned her request down,' Trump claimed.
Trump has seized on media reports of unnamed Secret Service agents questioning the reliability of Hutchinson’s sworn testimony.
“No cross examination, no real Republicans, no lawyers, NO NOTHING. Fake stories and an all Fake Narrative being produced, with ZERO pushback allowed. Unselects should be forced to disband. WITCH HUNT!” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social.
An anonymous Secret Service official even told CNN that Anthony Ornato, then the deputy White House chief of staff, denies Hutchinson's claims.
“Cassidy Hutchinson lied and the @January6thCmte held a special hearing [Tuesday] to broadcast her lies,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) wrote.
“In ’23, every single one of them need to be held accountable for what they are putting Pres Trump, his admin, & Republicans through on the people’s dime. Enough of this.”
Donald Trump Jr. followed suit, claiming that Hutchinson had made up her testimony. The ex-president’s eldest son went further, referring to the former aide as a “coffee girl”. “It’s pretty surreal watching the CNNs of the world still pretending that there aren’t multiple actual witnesses willing to testify that the fake bombshell hearsay testimony they’re salivating over isn’t demonstrably false and that their dream witness/coffee girl perjured herself!”