August 13, 2022

Live updates: Jan. 6 hearings day 6

Cassidy Hutchinson is sworn in to testify before the House Select Committee on Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson is sworn in to testify before the House Select Committee on Tuesday. (Andrew Harnik/PoolAP)

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, has been testifying today before the Jan. 6 committee.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Jan. 6 committee chair, argued in his opening remarks that Hutchinson embodies “courage” for testifying and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said in an opening statement that Hutchinson’s testimony “touches on several important and cross-cutting topics, topics that are relevant to each of our future hearings.”

If you’re just reading in now, here are some of the key things that Hutchinson has said during her testimony so far:

Hutchinson told the committee she heard Trump say he didn’t care that his supporters had weapons: Hutchinson testified before the Jan. 6 hearing that she overheard former President Donald Trump saying that he did not care if his supporters had weapons — and suggested he had no issue with them marching to the Capitol armed. “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 F-ing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take the F-ing mags away.”

Trump and Meadows told about weapons among supporters at Jan. 6 rally held at Ellipse: The President’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump supporters had weapons when they gathered on the Ellipse that day, Hutchinson testified. Hutchinson also testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said he talked to Trump about weapons at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021. The House select committee investigation learned from law enforcement reports that people at the Trump rally on the Ellipse had pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, Tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, Cheney said on Tuesday.

Hutchinson details secondhand account of Trump launching at Secret Service agents on Jan. 6 Hutchinson testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel. Ornato told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on Jan. 6, 2021 repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol.  According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the F’ing President. Take me up to the Capitol now.” Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “lunge” at Engel. 

Hutchinson heard Proud Boys and Oath Keepers mentioned leading up to Jan. 6: Hutchinson told the committee she heard the names of two far-right groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper, mentioned leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. “I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally, when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a video the committee played of one of her previous depositions. Rep. Cheney noted that “Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the Proud Boys for Jan. 6.” Dozens of people connected to the Proud Boys have been arrested for their alleged participation in the Capitol riot, and leaders of both groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged role that day, some of whom provided security that day for allies to President Donald Trump, including Roger Stone.  

Meadows told Hutchinson “things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6”: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told his aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 2, 2021, that “things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6,” she testified on Tuesday. She said he told her this after she spoke with former President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who told her “something to the effect of ‘we’re going to the Capitol.'” Hutchinson said that Meadows “was scrolling through his phone; I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, ‘I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. It sounds like we’re going to go to the Capitol.’ He didn’t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of ‘there’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.” She said: “That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6.” Hutchinson testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on January 6 that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel. 

Days before the riot, Giuliani said “we’re going to the Capitol”: Hutchinson testified Tuesday that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on Jan. 2, 2021 – four days before the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters – that “we’re going to the Capitol” on January 6, and that President Trump himself was also planning to be there. “Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day. … We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president is going to be there, it’s going to look powerful,” Giuliani said, according to Hutchinson, who also said Giuliani told her that 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 had advance knowledge of this plan.

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