WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson dropped a series of bombshells while testifying before the Jan. 6 committee.
- Mark Meadows’ top aide described Former President Trump as “angry and violent.”
- Hutchinson’s testimony implicates Trump, Meadows, and other top associates.
Cassidy Hutchinson, Mark Meadows’ former top aide, delivered a series of bombshells in the Jan. 6 hearings, implicating former President Donald Trump directly in the Capitol attack.
Hutchinson shared multiple incidents of Trump’s anger and frustration regarding the events on Jan. 6, 2021, and days after the Capitol riot. She detailed the former president’s unwillingness to call off the crowds marching to the Capitol despite knowing some were armed and violence was unavoidable.
Hutchinson was a trusted aide to former White House Chief of Staff Meadows. Her position gave her access to the inner workings of the West Wing and allowed her to testify about the events leading up to and on Jan. 6.
The 25-year-old Hutchinson said that Trump knew his supporters had weapons when he told them to march to the Capitol following his “Save America” rally.
“I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of ‘I don’t f—ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in, they can march to the Capitol from here,'” Hutchinson testified.
Hutchinson also told the committee that top presidential security official, Tony Ornato recounted how Trump lunged at his chief of security, Bobby Engel, while inside the presidential vehicle known as “the Beast,” when Engel refused to drive him to the Capitol.
“The president said something to the effect of, I’m the f—ing president, take me up to the Capitol now,” Hutchinson said. When Engel refused, telling him it wasn’t safe, Trump “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson said.
“Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel, and when Mr. Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles,” Hutchinson added.
Hutchinson also testified that on the evening of Jan. 2, 2021, Rudy Giuliani asked her if she was “excited for the 6th?,” then revealed that “we’re going to the Capitol” on Jan. 6.
When she later asked Meadows about what Giuliani meant, Meadows said: “Things might get real, real bad on January 6.”
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe made clear he worried Trump’s post-election claims of fraud “could spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous either for our democracy or, with the way that things were going, for the 6th,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson recounted that on Jan. 6, before Trump and his top aides walked out to the Ellipse for his speech, White House counsel Pat Cipollone “said something to the effect of ‘Please make sure we don’t go up to the Capitol. Keep in touch with me. We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.'”
In a previous, taped deposition, Hutchinson recounted another conversation between Cipollone and Meadows, in which Cipollone told Meadows: “We need to do something more — they’re literally calling for the Vice President to be f—ing hung.”
According to Hutchinson, Meadows said: “You heard [Trump], he thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”
Hutchinson also told the panel that both Meadows and Giuliani sought pardons related to Jan. 6.