Trump Allies Tried to Intimidate Cassidy Hutchinson Before Testimony: Report

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APTOPIX Capitol Riot Investigation - Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Images
APTOPIX Capitol Riot Investigation - Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Images

The Jan. 6 committee warned of potential witness tampering by Trump loyalists at the close of Tuesday’s hearing. According to Punchbowl News, one of the examples of witness intimidation provided by the committee was sent to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

At the close of Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) revealed that the committee was aware of multiple instances in which witnesses testifying before the committee have been pressured by President Trump’s allies in attempts to manipulate their testimony. 

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Cheney read a statement from a witness who said they would “stay in good graces in Trump World”  if they continued to be a “team player.” The witness was also told to keep in mind that Trump does read transcripts while giving their deposition. In a second example, a witness was called before their deposition and told that “he knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.” 

It is not clear which of the examples discussed by the committee was provided by Hutchinson, or when the message was sent. Hutchinson sat for interviews with the committee on four occasions prior to appearing publicly on Tuesday.

In her public testimony Hutchinson, a former aide to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, revealed to the committee that Meadows was anticipating something “real, real bad” on Jan. 6, and that on the day of the Capitol riot President Trump had insisted security be relaxed in order to allow armed protesters to enter the crowd of his Ellipse rally. Hutchinson told the committee that she overheard Trump say something to the effect of, “I don’t fucking care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the fucking [magnometers] away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.”  Trump would go on to encourage rally-goers to march to the Capitol.

Hutchinson also testified to Trump’s anger when aides and Secret Service agents informed him he would not be transported to the Capitol to participate in protests. Hutchinson described a conversation with Secret Service official Anthony Ornato, in which he told her that the president ”lunged” at a Secret Service agent driving the presidential vehicle. “I’m the f-ing president, take me to the Capitol now,” an incensed Trump allegedly told staff attempting to transport him back to the White House.

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