Here’s what Cassidy Hutchinson’s January 6 testimony tells us
Watch the committee’s sixth public hearing on January 6
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two years after completing a summer internship at the White House, Cassidy Hutchinson was in the room where the president’s top aides debated how they could undo his electoral defeat.
Hutchinson, 25, who served as a top aide to President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified Tuesday at a surprise hearing of the House Committee investigating the 6 January 2021. The first few minutes of his testimony included several surprises regarding the two men.
On the morning of Jan. 6, Meadows was told by White House security official Tony Ornato that many of the rally attendees waiting to hear from the president were armed with guns and other weapons, including spears. attached to the end of the masts, Hutchinson said. She described Meadows as scrolling her phone with apparent detachment for long enough that she thought he might not have heard her. According to Hutchinson, Meadows eventually asked Ornato if he had informed Trump, and Ornato replied that he had.
Hutchinson also said she was close enough to hear Trump demanding attendees not be screened, saying, “I don’t care if they have guns. They are not here to hurt me.
His testimony reflected his detailed knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump White House, including the critical days when Trump and his advisers plotted to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory. The events in his testimony are of potentially vital interest to both the committee and the Department of Justice.
She showed closeness and familiarity with key Trump figures, sometimes referring to Meadows, Ornato and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien by their first names. Meadows, in turn, referred to him as “Cass”.
Hutchinson previously described meetings with the White House Counsel’s Office in which attendees discussed the legality of substituting voters in states that opted for then-president-elect Biden with bogus “voters.” alternates” who would select Trump. The former president and his allies tried unsuccessfully to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence, who was overseeing voter certification on Jan. 6.
There was no widespread electoral fraud. Trump has lost more than 60 lawsuits trying to prove wrongdoing, and even his own attorney general, William Barr, has called his allegations baseless.
At a meeting in December, Hutchinson said, Trump’s attorneys advised lawmakers that the voter replacement plan was not “legally valid.” She told the committee that at least five Republican members of Congress involved in voter replacement projects had asked for Trump’s pardon.
She also testified about Meadows’ surprise trip to Georgia a few weeks after the election to observe an audit of the vote and meet with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
And she said Meadows was aware of reports of a Secret Service agent warning of violence on Jan. 6.
Relatively little is known about Hutchinson. Although the White House may be the most prestigious office building in the world, much of the staff is young, sometimes even fresh out of college like Hutchinson. They have often previously worked for the presidential campaign or the national party, and they are distinguished by their ambition and willingness to work long hours for low pay.
They are also essential to the machinery of any administration. They help with media coverage logistics, prepare for public events and answer the phone. Because they are often within earshot as the most powerful people in the land gossip and plan, discretion is a must. Trump’s personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout was fired after reckless comments during an informal dinner with reporters.
“The White House is fueled by a restless young energy working every day, hour, night to keep the operation going,” said Johanna Maska, CEO of consulting firm Global Situation Room who served in the White House. under former President Barack Obama. “Although most assistants do not play a decision-making role, they have an eye on sensitive information, including schedules, notes, documents, private conversations.”
A sign of Hutchinson’s possible willingness to cooperate with investigations is his choice of attorneys. She recently went from a former Trump White House official to a former Justice Department official who served as chief of staff to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and became a key witness for the Trump investigation. special counsel Robert Mueller on ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
Jody Hunt, the new attorney, told Mueller’s team how Trump chastised Sessions for his disqualification from the Russia investigation and the pressure he sought to exert on the department during the investigation.
In a 2018 profile posted by her undergraduate alma mater, Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., Hutchinson recalled being “broken in tears” when she received an email saying she had been accepted into an internship program at the White House.
“As a first-generation student, being selected to intern alongside some of the smartest and most driven students across the country – many of whom attend top universities – has been an honor and a tremendous experience to growth,” she said. as told.
She says in the article that she attended many events hosted by Trump and often watched out her window as Marine One left the South Lawn of the White House.
“My small contribution to the quest to maintain American prosperity and excellence is a memory that I will cherish as one of the honors of my life,” she said in the article.
Associated Press writer Chris Megerian in Washington contributed to this report.