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  • Emma W.M

Ongoing Jan. 6th Hearings: The Testimony of Former Aide Cassidy Hutchinson

In Summary: Cassidy Hutchinson, former White House aide, testified to the House on 6/28 about what she observed in relation to the January 6th insurrection. She detailed Trump as a man who knew of impending danger and, instead of taking action to stop it, chose to incite violence from among those already armed and eagerly susceptible to his directions. Her testimony strengthens the case of Trump having knowingly engaged in criminal conduct in order to attempt to stay in power.


A year and a half ago, there was a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol building perpetrated by a large number of Trump supporters acting on the belief that a takeover was what their leader, then-President Trump, wanted them to do. Currently, the House of Representatives is holding a multi-day investigative hearing to determine if Donald Trump and others are criminally responsible for the destruction that took place on January 6th.

In a surprise hearing on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022, former White House Aide Cassidy Hutchinson gave an account about her interactions and observations of the president and his surroundings in relation to the insurrection's events. Her testimony helps congressional investigators fill in key gaps in that day's timeline about Trump's direct actions and mindset as well as those of his inner circle. Hutchinson is the first White House employee to testify publicly during these hearings.

Hutchinson's job position was special assistant to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. This placed her in close proximity with the President, her boss Mark Meadows, security official Tony Ornato, national security advisor Robert O'Brien, and Director of National Security John Ratcliffe (among other important figures).

In a previous deposition with investigators, she confirmed that Meadows knew that there was potential for violence at the capitol because he had been previously warned.

What She Said:

During Tuesday's hearing, Hutchinson testified about situations she witnessed firsthand at the White House on and around January 6th.

Before the 6th

Four days before the insurrection, she was conversing with Rudy Guiliani who told her “We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president’s going to be there. He’s going to look powerful." Concerned about the implications of that conversation, Hutchinson brought her worries to Meadows. In response, he told her “There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know. Things might get real, real bad on January 6."

She further conversed with Ratcliffe who told her "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 6th."

During the 6th

Hutchinson says that both Meadows and Trump were well aware that those supporters attending the rally were armed with various weaponry. Some rally goers brought with them AR-15 rifles, Glock pistols, brass knuckles, knives, stun guns, and other improvisational arms along with wearing body armor. She observed that before the rally the president was "furious" about the limited number of rally-goers security was allowing through because the numbers were well below capacity. This attitude directly resulted in Trump demanding looser security to allow armed individuals to attend his electoral college certification rally. She stated that she overheard the president saying "something to the effect of ..."‘I don’t effing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away"" The "mags" referred to are magnetometers, a device used by secret service members to search for weapons.

After the rally where Trump called on his armed supporters to go march on the Capitol building (where the election certifications were being held) Hutchinson said that President Trump was "irate" and physical with his security detail when informed by his Secret Service head Robert Engel that he was not allowed to go join his supporters at the capitol building. Trump even attempted to physically wrest control of the presidential suv and drive to the capitol himself. “The president had a very strong, a very angry response to that,” Hutchinson testified about him being told no. “Tony described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f—— president, take me up to the Capitol now.’”

“[Engel] said, ‘Sir we have to go back to the West Wing,’” Hutchinson continued. “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.'”

“Trump then used his free hand to lunge at Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified. "-when Mr. Ornato had recounted this story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles,” she added, alluding to a choking hold. This portion of her testimony is technically hearsay, as the events in the car were relayed to her directly in conversation by Engel and Tony Ornato.

Infamously, during the siege on the capitol, there were chants of 'Hang Mike Pence!' Hutchinson, in the White House with Trump and other staff, overheard Meadows saying to White House counsel member Pat Cipollone "something to the effect of ""you heard him Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong."" This was in response to Ciopollone exclaiming "Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your effing hands."

After the 6th:

Hutchinson confirmed that her boss, Meadows, asked Trump to issue him a presidential pardon following the insurrection and the ensuing public fallout.

Hutchinson also talked about fallout events after the capitol insurrection. The next day, Trump was opposed to giving a public address that condemned the violence his followers carried out. He ultimately was convinced by White House aides to giving a recorded address in which he did condemn the violence as well as announce he would step down from his position. This decision was framed as one that would help decrease the likelihood of the 25th amendment being invoked to take Trump out of office before his term ended.

The Importance of her Testimony:

Hutchinson detailed Trump as a man who knew of impending danger and instead of taking action to stop it chose to incite violence from among those already armed and eagerly susceptible to his directions. Her testimony strengthens the case of Trump having knowingly engaged in criminal conduct in order to attempt to stay in power.


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