Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the Jan. 6 committee today.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Jan. 6 committee chair, argued in his opening remarks that Hutchinson embodies “courage” to testify and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said in an opening statement that Hutchinson’s testimony “touches several important and cross-cutting topics, topics relevant to each of our future hearings.”
If you’re just reading now, here are some of the key things Hutchinson has said so far during her testimony:
Hutchinson told the committee she heard Trump say he didn’t care that his supporters had guns: Hutchinson testified before the Jan. 6 hearing that she heard former President Donald Trump say he didn’t care if his supporters had guns — and suggested he had no problem with them marching armed to the Capitol. “I heard the president say something along the lines of, ‘I don’t care if they have guns. They’re not here to hurt me. Take away the F-ing magazines. Let my people in, they can march from here to the Capitol. Let the people in, take the F-ing warehouses.”
Trump and Meadows spoke about guns among supporters at the January 6 rally in Ellipse: The President’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, including Trump supporters having guns when they gathered at the Ellipse that day, Hutchinson testified. Hutchinson also testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said he had discussed guns with Trump at his January 6, 2021 meeting. The House Select Committee’s investigation learned from law enforcement reports that people at Trump meeting at the Ellipse pepper had spray, knives, brass knuckles, tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, Cheney said Tuesday.
Hutchinson describes Trump’s second-hand account launched on January 6 with Secret Service agents Hutchinson testified that she heard second-hand how Trump was so furious with his Secret Service for having banned him from the Capitol on January 6, 2021, that he jumped to the front of his presidential limousine and tried to turn the wheel. Ornato told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was in charge of the Secret Service on Jan. 6, 2021, repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it was not safe to go to the Capitol. According to Hutchinson, Ornato said Trump yelled, “I’m the F’ing president. Take me to the Capitol now.” Trump “then reached out to the front of the vehicle to grab the wheel,” Hutchinson recalled learning, adding that Trump used his other hand to “lunge” at Engel, according to Ornato.
Hutchinson heard Proud Boys and Oath Keepers say in the run-up to January 6: Hutchinson told the committee she heard the names of two far-right groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper, named in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021. “I remember hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and the word ‘Proud Boys’ was closer to scheduling the Jan. 6 meeting, when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a video the committee played of one of its previous statements. Rep. Cheney noted that “Hutchinson does not have detailed knowledge has some planning involving the Proud Boys for Jan. 6.” Dozens of people associated with the Proud Boys have been arrested for their alleged participation in the Capitol riots, and leaders of both groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged involvement in the Capitol. role that day, some of whom provided security that day to President Donald Trump’s allies, including Roger Stone.
Meadows told Hutchinson, “On January 6, things might get really, really bad”: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told his aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 2, 2021, that “it could get really, really bad on Jan. 6,” she testified on Tuesday. She said he told her this after speaking to former President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who told her “something along the lines of ‘we’re going to the Capitol'” Hutchinson said Meadows was “scrolling through his phone; I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, “I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. Sounds like we’re going to the Capitol.” He didn’t look up from his phone and said something along the lines of, “There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, on January 6th it might get real, very terribly.’ She said: “That night was the first moment I remember being scared and nervous about what might happen on January 6th.” Hutchinson testified that she heard secondhand how Trump was so furious with his Secret Service for blocking him from going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 that he jumped to the front of his presidential limousine and tried to turn the wheel.
Days before the riots, Giuliani said “we’re going to the Capitol”: Hutchinson testified on Tuesday that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani had told her on January 2, 2021 — four days before the U.S. Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters — that “we’re going to the Capitol” on January 6, and that President Trump himself plans to to be there. ‘Cass, do you fancy the 6th? It’s going to be a great day. … We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president will be there, it will look powerful,” Giuliani said, according to Hutchinson, who also said Giuliani told her Trump would be with members of Congress that day. It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on January 6, but Hutchinson’s testimony establishes for the first time that people around Trump were aware of this plan in advance.