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Former aide Cassidy Hutchinson testifies on Jan. 6 warnings, pardon requests, and Trump trying to grab the wheel

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Aide describes Trump lunging for steering wheel, demanding to go to Capitol on Jan. 6 07:15

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, offered explosive testimony Tuesday that former President Trump wanted to get to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – even grabbing the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle and lunging at his head of security when he was told he could not go, she said.

Hutchinson's former boss has not complied with subpoenas to appear before the committee. She testified Tuesday that he and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani sought presidential pardons. 

Among Hutchinson's extraordinary revelations was that Trump was told that the crowd at his rally at the Ellipse ahead of the Capitol riot had guns and other weapons. She testified that Trump said "something to the effect of, 'I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away,'" referring to the magnetometers, or metal detectors, used for security screening. 

U.S. House holds public hearings on Jan. 6, 2021 assault on Capitol
Cassidy Hutchinson appears during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, at the Capitol, in Washington, June 28, 2022.  POOL / REUTERS

Hutchinson also testified that Giuliani said to her on Jan. 2 "'Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It's going to be a great day.'"

Hutchinson said Tuesday that she asked Giuliani to explain the significance of Jan. 6. She said he responded, "We're going to the Capitol. It's going to be great.The president is going to be there, he's going to look powerful," and he encouraged her to speak with Meadows.

After Giuliani left the White House campus, Hutchinson said she did ask Meadows about Jan. 6 and he said "'it sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.'"

"'There's a lot going on Cass, but I don't know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6,'" Meadows told Hutchinson, she recalled.

Hutchinson also testified about how angry Trump was after Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press in an interview after the 2020 election that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change its outcome.

Entering the dining room at the White House, Hutchinson observed a valet changing the tablecloth. The valet motioned toward the fireplace mantle and television, she said. 

"I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," she told the committee. "The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall."

Hutchinson then grabbed a towel to assist and recalled the valet told her about Trump, "he's really ticked off about this. I would stay clear of him for right now."

At a prior hearing, the Jan. 6 committee played video snippets of Barr's testimony. In that snippet, he said "I went over there and I told my secretary that I would probably be fired and told not to … not to go back to my office, so I said, 'You might have to pack up for me."

At the end of the hearing, House Jan. 6 committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said some of the witnesses who have appeared before the committee have received messages from some of inner members of Trump's circle. She read some of the texts, including one that said "he wants me to let you know he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal."

"Most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns," Cheney said in closing, noting the committee will be discussing how to proceed.

Hutchinson's testimony came in the middle of a two-week recess, and unexpectedly called just days after the committee said there would not be any more hearings until July. Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said that Tuesday's hearing was called because the information Hutchinson had is "quite urgent." 

"Ms. Hutchinson is justifiably proud of her service to the country as a special assistant to the president," Hutchinson's attorneys, Jody Hunt and William Jordan, said in a statement. "While she did not seek out the attention accompanying her testimony today, she believes that it was her duty and responsibility to provide the committee with her truthful and candid observations of the events surrounding January 6. Ms. Hutchinson believes that January 6 was a horrific day for the country, and it is vital to the future of our democracy that it not be repeated."

The committee is expected to restart the hearings in July. 

The earlier hearings focused on Trump's pressure campaigns on all branches of government, from Vice President Mike Pence and the Justice Department all the way down to state lawmakers and local elections officials


Raskin calls testimony that Trump wanted to let in people with weapons "searing"

Rep. Jamie Raskin, one of the Democratic committee members, told reporters Hutchinson's testimony was "searing." 

Particularly pertinent to Raskin was Hutchinson's testimony that Trump knew rally attendees had weapons, and wanted them to pass through the magnetometers anyway.

"It didn't trouble him that there were armed people ready for violence in the crowd, in the mob that day," Raskin said. "And that confirms that this was a president who was willing to do anything to overthrow the presidential election of 2020 and clearly had violence within his sights that day."

"We had the president of the United States upset that the Secret Service and other authorities were using metal detectors for people entering his rally," and Trump wanted those taken down, Raskin said, noting police sightings of people carrying AR-15s on the National Mall. 

Raskin applauded Hutchinson's "courage" that he said so many other former aides have lacked. 

Raskin said the committee will continue to investigate possible witness tampering, after the texts Cheney presented that appeared to be intimidating witnesses. 

"It's a crime to tamper with witnesses," Raskin said. "It's a form of obstructing justice. The committee won't tolerate it." 

By Kathryn Watson

Cheney suggests Trump allies have attempted to influence committee witnesses

At the conclusion of the hearing, Cheney praised Hutchinson for appearing before the panel and discussing what she witnessed in the White House in the lead up to and on Jan. 6.

"The easy course is to hide from the spotlight, to refuse to come forward, to attempt to downplay or deny what happened," she said.

Cheney then revealed the committee has received evidence of a practice that "raises significant concern," in which witnesses connected to the Trump campaign or administration have indicated they were contacted by former colleagues or others who attempted to influence their testimony.

One person told the panel they received phone calls: "What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I'm on the team, I'm doing the right thing, I'm protecting who I need to protect, you know, I'll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through depositions and interviews with the committee."

Another witness said they received a call during which the caller said, "[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal, and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition."

"Most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns," Cheney said in closing, noting the committee will be discussing how to proceed.

By Melissa Quinn

Meadows and White House lawyers dictated statement for Trump to stop violence

Hutchinson dictated a statement from Meadows and White House lawyer Eric Herschmann about the violence at the U.S. Capitol, which pushed those who entered the building to leave immediately.

"Anyone who entered the Capitol illegally without proper authority should leave immediately," the note read, with "illegally" crossed out.

But after Meadows visited Trump in the dining room outside the Oval Office, Hutchinson recalled that Meadows said they didn't need to take further action regarding the statement.

Trump eventually did release a video hours after the Capitol assault began, though she said he was "reluctant' to do so.

Cheney also said the committee learned members of the former president's Cabinet were discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from power. 

"After the attack on the U.S. Capitol, this was being discussed by members of President Trump's Cabinet as a way of stripping the full power of the presidency from Donald Trump," she said.

Hutchinson said then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reached out to Meadows about the discussions on the 25th Amendment to put it on his radar.

Asked about remarks crafted for Trump on Jan. 7, Hutchinson told the committee in a taped interview the former president didn't feel he needed to say anything further, but was convinced to do so by Ivanka Trump, Meadows, Jared Kushner, Cipollone, Hershmann and Pat Philbin, then-deputy counsel.

"There was a large concern of the 25th Amendment potentially being invoked, and there were concerns about what would happen in the Senate … if the 25th Amendment was invoked," she said, adding the former president's aides warned, "you need this as cover."

An original draft of the speech included Trump's desire to issue pardons for those who breached the Capitol building, Hutchinson said, and the former president wanted his remarks to reflect "His mindset at the time, which was he didn't think they did anything wrong, the people who did something wrong that day, or the person who did something wrong that day was Mike Pence by not standing with him."

By Melissa Quinn

Thompson closes out hearing encouraging others to come forward

Thompson closed out the hearing by encouraging others who have information pertinent to their investigation to come forward and speak, as Hutchinson has. 

"Our doors remain open," Thompson said. 

The committee is next expected to hold hearings in July. 

By Kathryn Watson

Meadows and Giuliani sought presidential pardons, Hutchinson testifies

Hutchinson said she did hear that it was under consideration that Trump mention potential pardons for those involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol assault. 

"I did hear that, and I understood that Mr. Meadows was encouraging that language as well," she said.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone did not want to include that, she said. 

Cheney asked Hutchinson if Giuliani ever sought a presidential pardon. 

"He did," Hutchinson testified. 

Giuliani denied ever asking for a pardon, according to a statement released by his lawyer, Bob Costello.

"Not only didn't I request a pardon," Giuliani said, but "I informed my client President Trump that if he offered me a pardon, I would turn it down. Since I did nothing improper, I felt no need of a pardon."

Cheney asked Hutchinson if Meadows, the president's own chief of staff, ever indicated he was interested in a pardon. 

"Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon," she testified. 

Cheney did not press Hutchinson for further details on those fronts. 

Ellis Kim contributed reporting.

By Kathryn Watson

Hutchinson says Meadows initially wanted to "deflect and blame" for attack on liberal groups instead of taking action

Hutchinson described how she felt that day, as she heard from Meadows that the president thought rioters chanting "Hang Mike Pence" weren't doing anything wrong, and as the president did nothing to stop the violence. 

"As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic," she said. "It was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie. And it was something that was really hard in that moment to digest knowing what I'd been hearing down the hall in the conversations that were happening." 

Another White House staffer, Matt Pottinger, testified according to recorded video, decided to resign after Trump tweeted that Pence should have had more courage. 

"I read that tweet. And made a decision at that moment to resign," Pottinger said in recorded testimony. "That's where I knew that I was leaving that day, once I had read that tweet."

Hutchinson testified that Ivanka Trump and Herschmann were "really working to get him to take action and pleading with him to take action." Others were more neutral. And still others wanted to deflect and incorrectly blame liberal groups like Antifa. 

"It's my understanding that Mr. Meadows was in the deflect and blame category, but he did end up taking a more neutral route," Hutchinson said. 

Cheney read texts from conservative host Laura Ingraham and Donald Trump Jr. encouraging Meadows to have the president stop the attack. The committee played a clip from Jan. 6 of a "CBS Evening News: anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell interview with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy in which McCarthy called the attack "un-American" and expressed support for the president calling off the attack. 

By Melissa Quinn

Cipollone told Meadows "people are going to die" if he didn't take action, Hutchinson said

As the rioters neared the Capitol on Jan. 6, Hutchinson said she struggled to get Meadows to take action. At approximately 2 p.m., she said Meadows was alone in his office and she came in to ask if he was aware of what was happening.  

Hutchinson said Meadows was sitting on the couch on his cell phone, and told her he hadn't talked to Trump about the developments because "he wants to be alone right now." 

"So I start to get frustrated because I sort of felt like I was watching a — this is not a great comparison, but a bad car accident that was about to happen, where you can't stop it but you want to be able to do something," she said.  

"And I remember thinking in that moment, Mark needs to snap out of this and I don't know how to snap him out of this but he needs to care." 

She said she then asked Meadows if he knew where Rep. Jim Jordan was, and suggested he call him.   

Soon after, she said, she saw Cipollone "barreling" down the hallway towards their office. She said Cipollone told Meadows that the rioters had gotten to the Capitol and they needed to see Trump immediately — but said Meadows responded, "He doesn't want to do anything, Pat." 

Cipollone then said something to the effect of "Mark something needs to be done or people are going to die, and the blood's going to be on your effing hands. This is getting out of control."   

The pair then left the room, she said.

By Victoria Albert

Meadows wanted to go to the Willard "war room" on Jan. 5

Hutchinson told the panel that Trump asked Meadows to speak with Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, his former national security council, on Jan. 5, and was "under the impression" the chief of staff called the two.

She also said she was aware Giuliani, Eastman and others set up a so-called "war room" at the Willard Hotel, which is located next to the White House.

"Mr. Meadows had a conversation with me where he wanted me to work with Secret Service on a movement from the White House to the Willard Hotel so he could attend the meeting, or meetings with Mr. Giuliani and his associates in the war room," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said she made it clear to Meadows that she didn't believe it was wise for him to attend the meeting.

"I knew enough about what Mr. Giuliani and his associates were pushing during this period," she said. "I didn't think it was something appropriate for the White House chief of staff to attend."

Hutchinson said Meadows again mentioned going to the Willard but then said he would "dial-in instead."

Flynn appeared before the committee for a deposition, during which he invoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, of which the committee played a clip. 

"General Flynn, do you believe the violence on Jan. 6 was justified?" Cheney asked in a clip of the interview played during the hearing.

"The Fifth," he said.

"Do you believe in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America?" Cheney asked.

"The Fifth," Flynn replied. 

By Melissa Quinn

Fellow former Trump White House aide defends Hutchinson's character and testimony

Sarah Matthews, a deputy press secretary in the Trump White House who worked alongside Hutchinson, defended her character and testimony in a Twitter thread. Matthews resigned on Jan. 6 after Trump supporters assaulted the Capitol. 

"Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson's role or her access in the West Wing either doesn't understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they're scared of how damning this testimony is," Matthews tweeted. "For those complaining of "hearsay," I imagine the Jan. 6 committee would welcome any of those involved to deny these allegations under oath."

Matthews made those comments as Republicans, including those who run the House Judiciary Committee GOP account, attempted to undermine her testimony and credibility. 

"'He told me, that she heard from him, that she heard, from another guy, that she said he told her that she heard, that Trump may have said something, which was overheard, by her, about something, to the best of my knowledge.' -Cassidy Hutchinson," the committee tweeted, obviously not quoting Hutchinson, to disparage Hutchinson's testimony. 

Hutchinson's testimony, when she wasn't there in person, was told to her and confirmed to her by aides who were present. 

By Kathryn Watson

Hutchinson said Trump threw lunch at the wall after Barr's interview declaring there was no widespread voter fraud

Hutchinson recalled how angry Trump was after then-Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press in an interview after the 2020 election that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Entering the dining room at the White House, Hutchinson said a valet was changing the table cloth and motioned toward the fireplace mantle and television.

"I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," she told the committee. "The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall."

Hutchinson then grabbed a towel to assist and recalled the valet told her about Trump, "he's really ticked off about this. I would stay clear of him for right now."

Asked by Cheney whether it was the only instance where the former president threw dishes, Hutchinson said it was not, and there were "several times" where Trump also flipped the tablecloth to send the contents of the table to the floor.

Barr, too, told the committee of what he experienced when he met with Trump after the interview and offered his resignation to the president.

"He pounded the table very hard and everyone sort of jumped. And he said, 'accept it?'" Barr said, according to his taped testimony.

By Melissa Quinn

Hutchinson says Trump tried to grab steering wheel, lunged at head of security in the car when he was told he couldn't go to the Capitol

Aide describes Trump lunging for steering wheel, demanding to go to Capitol on Jan. 6 07:15

Hutchinson testified that when she returned to the White House, Ornato told her that Trump had a "very strong, very angry response" when he was told he could not go to the Capitol after his speech. 

Hutchinson said she was told by Ornato, in a room with the head of Trump's security detail Robert Engel, that the president became "irate" when he was told in his vehicle that he could not go to the Capitol. He said something to the effect of "I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now," Hutchinson said.  

When told he had to return to the West Wing, Trump reached up to the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel, prompting Engel to grab his arm, Hutchinson said she was told by Ornato. 

The president then used his free hand to lunge towards Engel, she said, noting that Ornato "motioned towards his clavicles" when describing the incident. 

Hutchinson said Engel did not correct or disagree with any part of what Ornato said. 

After the hearing, the Secret Service released a statement that said it intended to respond to Hutchinson's testimony. "The United States Secret Service has been cooperating with the Select Committee since its inception in spring 2021, and will continue to do so, including by responding on the record to the Committee regarding the new allegations surfaced in today's testimony," U.S. Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement to CBS News.

A source close to the Secret Service confirmed to CBS News that Engel and the driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was physically attacked or assaulted by Trump and that the former president never lunged for the steering wheel of the vehicle. 

They do not dispute that Trump was irate or that he demanded to be taken to the Capitol, in the language that Hutchinson related to the committee.

By Victoria Albert

McCarthy warned for Trump not to go to Capitol on Jan. 6: "Don't come up here"

Hutchinson, who was in the tent behind the rally stage while Trump delivered his remarks, recalled receiving a call from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy angrily asking why the former president wanted to go down to the U.S. Capitol.

Hutchinson said McCarthy was frustrated the former president suggested he was going to visit the U.S. Capitol and pushed them not to go, saying: "Don't come up here." 

"I said I'll run the traps on this," she recalled telling McCarthy, adding, "I can assure you we're not coming up to the Capitol."

Hutchinson then called Ornato to confirm there was no trip planned, and assured McCarthy a visit would not be happening.

By Melissa Quinn

White House lawyer said "we're going to get charged with every crime imaginable" if Trump marches on the Capitol, Hutchinson recalled

Hutchinson testified that she was aware of concerns from White House counsel Pat Cipollone and others in the White House counsel's office about language Trump wanted in his speech at the Ellipse. 

"There were many discussions the morning of the 6th about the rhetoric of the speech that day," Hutchinson said, adding that White House lawyer Eric Herschmann said they would be "foolish" to include much of the language Trump wanted in the speech.

The language, Hutchinson recalled, was to the effect of, "Fight for Trump. We're going to march to the Capitol." Trump wanted to include things "about the vice president at the time, too." 

White House lawyers were urging the speechwriters not to include those words for optics and legal reasons. 

Trump wanted to march on the Capitol. But Cipollone, Hutchinson recalled, said that would be a mistake. 

"We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen," Hutchinson recalls Cipollone saying ahead of Jan. 6. 

The committee played testimony from other former White House aides, including former Trump assistant Nick Luna, recalling Trump's desire to potentially accompany the rally attendees to the Capitol. Luna said that idea was raised after the president finished his remarks on the Ellipse. 

Cheney said the staff for the National Security Council was following chatter in real time. 

By Kathryn Watson

Hutchinson says Trump said before speech at Ellipse rally: "I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me"

Hutchinson detailed in both private and now public testimony a conversation Ornato had with Meadows the morning of Jan. 6, during which Ornato relayed the list of weapons found on attendees outside the rally at the Ellipse: knives, pistols, rifles, and spears on the end of flag poles.

But Hutchinson recalled that Meadows did not seem engaged in the discussion and was looking at his phone, asking Ornato only if he had spoken to the president, to which Ornato said he had.

In a text exchange obtained by the committee between Hutchinson and Ornato while Trump was at the rally before the Capitol assault, she said Trump was "f**king furious" that the area designated for the rally was not at full capacity.

"He doesn't get it that the people on the monument side don't want to come in. They can see from there and don't have to go through mags," Ornato replied, referring to the magnetometers attendees would have to pass through to enter the rally space, and that their weapons would set off. 

Hutchinson said she was in the "vicinity of a conversation," in which she overheard Trump say "something to the effect of, 'I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away." 

"President Trump was aware that a number of the individuals in the crowd had weapons and were wearing body armor," Cheney said, after which she played a clip of Trump during his speech at the Ellipse urging his supporters to walk down to the Capitol. "The crowd as we know did proceed to the Capitol."

Both Secret Service and White House aides knew security at the Capitol was not sufficient, Cheney continued.

By Melissa Quinn

Former Director of National Intelligence was concerned Trump White House's election push "could spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous"

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe felt that fighting the results of the 2020 presidential election "wasn't something that the White House should be pursuing," Hutchinson recalled. 

"He had expressed to me that he was concerned that it could spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous, either for our democracy, or the way that things were going for the 6th," Hutchinson said. 

The way the White House was handling the situation — pushing to find missing ballots, filing lawsuits in states where there didn't seem to be significant evidence — didn't sit well with Ratcliffe, she said. 

"He was hoping that we would concede," Hutchinson said of Ratcliffe. 

Hutchinson had previously testified that the then-national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, wanted to speak with Meadows ahead of Jan. 6, 2021, because he was concerned about potential security concerns. Hutchinson testified she didn't know if O'Brien ever connected with Meadows. 

Hutchinson also previously testified that law enforcement were receiving reports of potential violence on the night of Jan. 5, 2021. 

Cheney said the select committee has learned that people who entered the rally where the president spoke at the Ellipse had to be screened, while others were able to watch from outside the magnetometers. Police radio transmissions identified individuals with firearms, including people with AR-15 rifles, near the Ellipse, according to radio transmission records the committee played Tuesday. 

By Kathryn Watson

Hutchinson remembers hearing "Oath Keepers" and "Proud Boys" in discussions about Jan 6. planning

Cheney noted that while Hutchinson does not have detailed knowledge of any planning of Jan. 6 that included the Proud Boys, the committee played a clip of Hutchinson's previous recorded testimony in which she noted that she recalled hearing the words "Oath Keeper" and "Proud Boys" closer to the planning of the rally, "when Mr. Giuliani would be around."  

By Victoria Albert

Hutchinson recalls Meadows said "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6"

January 6th Committee Holds Surprise Hearing During Congressional Break
Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, is sworn-in as she testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.  BRANDON BELL / Getty Images

Thompson swore Hutchinson in and began his questioning, first showing photos that demonstrated her background working for Republicans on Capitol Hill and then in the White House.

In her work with Meadows, Hutchinson said she was in contact with the chief of staff "throughout every day, consistently."

Hutchinson said she recalled a meeting at the White House on the evening of Jan. 2 between Meadows and Giuliani. As Hutchinson was escorting Giuliani from the White House, she recalled him saying, "Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It's going to be a great day."

Hutchinson said she asked Giuliani to explain the significance of Jan. 6, and he responded, "We're going to the Capitol. It's going to be great.The president is going to be there, he's going to look powerful," and he encouraged her to speak with Meadows.

After Giuliani left the White House campus, Hutchinson said she did ask Meadows about Jan. 6 and said "It sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol."

"There's a lot going on Cass, but I don't know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6," Meadows told Hutchinson, she recalled.

Hutchinson said she was already "apprehensive" about the events of Jan. 6, but Giuiani's and Meadows' comments elevated her concerns.

"That evening was the first moment I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6," she said.

By Melissa Quinn

Cheney says Tuesday's hearing will be important for future hearings

Committee vice chair Liz Cheney said Tuesday's hearing will depart from its traditional format of investigating one topic at a time, noting that Hutchinson's wide-ranging experience allowed her to speak about several "cross-cutting" topics crucial to the committee's investigation. 

"Up until now, our hearings have each been organized to address specific elements of President Trump's plan to overturn the 2020 election. Today we are departing somewhat from that model, because Ms. Hutchinson's testimony touches on several important and cross-cutting topics, tropics that are relevant to each of our future hearings," Cheney said.  

Cheney said Hutchinson's testimony will provide first-hand observations of Trump's conduct on January 6, as well as new information about the actions and statements of his senior advisors that day, including his chief of staff Mark Meadows. Cheney said the committee will also examine evidence of what Trump and other White House staff members knew about the prospect of violence before it occurred. 

By Victoria Albert

Hearing commences with Thompson saying American people needed to hear new information "immediately"

Opening the hearing, Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson reiterated the hearings' theme that the former president's efforts were "based on a lie" that the election was stolen. 

The committee, Thompson said, will hold additional hearings about how the former president summoned his supporters to Washington, egged them on to enter the Capitol and failed to take meaningful action. But the committee has obtained new information since then about what was happening in the White House, Thompson said. 

"It's important that the American people hear that information immediately," Thompson said, thanking people like Hutchinson for their courage. 

Vice Chair Liz Cheney went over Hutchinson's experience, saying she worked feet from the Oval Office and closely with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. 

By Kathryn Watson

What Hutchinson has already told the committee

A video of Cassidy Hutchinson, aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, is shown during the fifth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, on June 23, 2022. MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Court documents filed in Meadows' challenge to the subpoena from the select committee indicate Hutchinson has answered questions from investigators at least twice — on Feb. 23 and March 7.

In a partial transcript of the February interview, Hutchinson said Anthony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official who was detailed to the White House and served as deputy chief of operations, brought Meadows intelligence reports that "indicated that there could be violence on the 6th," but she was not sure what he did with the information internally. 

Hutchinson also told the panel about a phone call Meadows and Rudy Giuliani conducted with members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers that he co-founded and once chaired while in Congress, during which Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, expressed support for encouraging people to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

During the February interview, Hutchinson recalled discussions about Vice President Mike Pence rejecting state electoral votes first began around the end of November and early December, when Meadows held meetings with campaign officials — Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis — and some Republicans in Congress — Perry and Reps. Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene — about strategies for Pence during the counting of electoral votes Jan. 6.

Hutchinson also told the committee about Trump's movements after the rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, which she heard about on a Secret Service radio channel. She recalled seeing the former president in the dining room "a lot," where he was joined by Meadows at points throughout the day.

In the March interview with the committee, Hutchinson told investigators she heard the White House counsel's office say the plan to have alternate electors meet and cast votes for Trump in states he lost was not legally sound.

Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel warned about the legality of the fake-electors scheme in a meeting with Meadows, Giuliani and his "associates" in a meeting that took place around early- to mid-December, she said. Hutchinson was also inclined to say that Pat Philbin, deputy counsel to the president, was also warning Meadows about this, but she wasn't sure.

She said the White House counsel's office also raised issues with the lawfulness of the alternate electors plan in meetings with members of Congress, also in early- to mid-December. She recalled Perry and Reps. Matt Gaetz and Louie Gohmert being at the meetings and "pushing back a little bit."

In addition to saying the plan to have alternate electors meet and vote for Trump was not legally sound, the White House counsel's office also said the strategy pushed by John Eastman, a conservative lawyer, to have Pence count the fake electoral votes was not legally sound, Hutchinson said.

She told investigators that nonetheless, members of the Freedom Caucus and incoming Republican lawmakers participated in a meeting, either in-person or on the phone, during which they discussed Pence's role on Jan. 6 and still felt "that he had the authority to … send votes back to the states or the electors back to the states, more along the lines of the Eastman theory."

According to the partial transcript from her March interview, Hutchinson said Meadows was "frequently" in touch with Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department lawyer who supported efforts to challenge the election results.

She recalled Clark attending meetings with Giuliani and visited the White House for meetings with Trump.

By Melissa Quinn

January 6 House select committee holds surprise public hearing to "present recently obtained evidence"

January 6 House select committee holds surprise public hearing to "present recently obtained evidence" 04:59

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold a last-minute hearing Tuesday to "present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony." Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson is set to testify. CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane joins "CBS News Mornings" with a preview.


Tuesday's witness will be Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows

While the committee did not say who would be testifying, CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane reports the surprise witness is Hutchinson, whose taped deposition before the committee has already been used in previous presentations.

"According to committee court filings reviewed by CBS News, she was in the room for key meetings in those chaotic days before January 6th," MacFarlane reports. 

Hutchinson told the committee that five Republican members of Congress sought "preemptive pardons" from Trump for their participation in a Dec. 21, 2020, meeting in which House GOP members met with the president to plot a path forward to overturn the election results.

By Scott MacFarlane

House Jan. 6 committee announces last-minute hearing Tuesday

The House Jan. 6 committee unexpectedly announced Monday that it will hold a hearing on Tuesday, June 28. The move comes days after the committee said it would not be holding more hearings until July. 

The committee said it will "present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony." 

 Last week, Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee, said "there's been a deluge of new evidence since we got started" with the public hearings.   

By Caroline Linton

Fifth House Jan. 6 public hearing takes a look at Justice Department and Jeffrey Clark

Pardons, pressure and probes: Inside Day 5 of the Jan. 6 committee's public hearings 12:55

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol focused its hearing on Thursday, June 23, on the efforts of then-President Donald Trump and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to pressure the department to help overturn the 2020 election results.

Trump wanted to fire acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen — who had just taken over in December 2020, after Attorney General Bill Barr's resignation — and to replace him with Clark, an environmental lawyer who had never prosecuted a criminal case. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who led the questioning, said Clark's only qualification was that "he would do whatever the president wanted him to do."

Installing Clark and the pressure campaign on the Justice Department amounted to "essentially a political coup," committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said. 

In video testimony, former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, said of Clark that "best I can tell, the only thing you know about environmental and elections challenges is they both start with 'E.'"   

Read more here.


Fourth House Jan. 6 committee hearing focuses on "fake electors" and threats to public servants amid Trump pressure campaign

State officials to take center stage at fourth public Jan. 6 hearing 06:52

The hearing on Tuesday, June 21, detailed the threats made to state lawmakers and election officials and workers in Arizona and Georgia, as President Donald Trump and his allies tried to get them to overturn the election results in their states.   

The committee sought to bring to light the severity of the threat to democracy in the days and weeks after the election, given the enormous and persistent pressure by the president and by Rudy Giuliani on officials and ordinary Americans to promote the "big lie" that Trump had won the election. The ability of these Americans to withstand that pressure came at a great personal cost.

"Our democracy held because courageous people like you heard today put their oath to the constitution above their loyalty to one man," committee member Rep. Adam Schiff said. "The system held but barely and the question remains, will it hold again?"

The hearing laid out the plan hatched by Trump and his allies in Arizona to replace the bona fide Biden electors with phony ones. The fake electors gathered in Arizona, which Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers referred to as a "tragic parody." Bowers refused to have any involvement in the fake electors plan being pushed by Giuliani. 

Texts showed by Schiff revealed that Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin could also have played a part in the false electors scheme. The texts, between Johnson's chief of staff and an aide to Pence, showed Johnson's aide informing Pence's aide that the senator was ready to deliver fraudulent ballots to Pence. "Do not give that to him," Pence's aide responded. 

Read more here


Third Jan. 6 committee hearing focuses on Trump's attempt to push Pence to overturn election results

Analysis of Day 3 of House Jan. 6 hearings on the pressure and threats to Mike Pence 14:23

In its third public hearing, the House committee turned its attention to former President Donald Trump's campaign to pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to reject the electoral votes. The hearing on Thursday, June 16, included testimony from close Pence aides who said the president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election were nonsensical and "un-American."

"Mike Pence said no. He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal, he knew it was wrong," Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said to open the third day of hearings examining the Capitol attack. "We are fortunate for Mr. Pence's courage on January 6. Our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe."

Two Pence advisers appeared in person at the hearing: Greg Jacob, Pence's former counsel, and J. Michael Luttig, a highly respected conservative jurist and retired federal judge who advised Pence in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The committee also showed taped footage of interviews with Pence chief of staff Marc Short and other aides.

The testimony made clear that Pence and his closest aides repeatedly told Trump and his allies that a theory pushed by conservative lawyer John Eastman, who argued the vice president should single-handedly reject or replace slates of electors, had no basis in the Constitution or federal law. 

Read more here


Second House Jan. 6 committee hearing examines Trump's false election claims in public hearing

Key takeaways from second day of Jan. 6 committee hearings 06:07

The House Jan. 6 committee focused its second public hearing on those closest to former President Donald Trump who said they told him it was too premature to declare victory on election night in 2020 — and how Trump used his premature declaration of victory to push baseless claims that the election was stolen.

The committee showed video testimony from top officials in the Trump administration who said former Vice President Mike Pence and White House were aware there was no evidence to support Trump's claims of voter fraud.

Former Attorney General William Barr said in recorded video testimony that he knew early claims that Trump had won the election were "bogus" and "silly."

"The department, in fact, when we received specific and credible allegations of fraud, made an effort to look into these to satisfy ourselves that they were without merit," Barr said in recorded testimony. 

Committee chair U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson said in his opening statement that they would "tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election, and knew he lost an election  and as a result of his loss decided to wage an attack on our democracy, an attack on the American people, by trying to rob you of your voice in our democracy — and in doing so, lit the fuse that led to the horrific violence of Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol." 

Read more here


Capitol police officer testifies at first public hearing that Jan. 6 was "chaos"

One of two witnesses to testify in-person during the prime-time hearing on June 9, the committee's first of the month, was Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury on Jan. 6. Edwards described Capitol Hill as a "war scene" on the day of the attack.

"It was something like I had seen out of the movies," Edwards said. "I could not believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood. I was catching people as they fell. It was carnage. It was chaos." 

Watch her testimony in the video below and read more here

Capitol Police officer describes "carnage" and "chaos" during Jan 6. attack 13:07
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