Watch CBS News

Stunning testimony in surprise Jan. 6 hearing from top White House aide

Stunning testimony shines light on Trump's behavior on Jan. 6
Stunning testimony shines light on Trump's actions on Jan. 6 02:41

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- The world heard stunning testimony on Tuesday in a surprise hearing of the January 6 committee, that made Watergate look like child's play.

Under oath, Cassidy Hutchinson, top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified that President Trump not only knew his supporters were armed during the January 6 insurrection, but that he didn't think they were doing anything wrong. 

"I remember Pat saying something to the effect of 'Mark we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the Vice President to be effing hung' and Mark said something to the effect of 'you heard him pat, he thinks mike deserves it. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong,'" Hutchinson said. 

Donna Crane is an adjunct professor in the political science department at San Jose State University. She says Hutchinson's testimony to the House Select Committee could push more in the Trump sphere to do the same. 

"I think you're having a heart-to-heart with Mark Meadows today if you're his attorney. And here's how it goes - you either need to step forth and testify and contradict her if what she said is not true — or you need to step forward and testify and confirm and get yourself on the right side of this story," Crane told KPIX5. 

The inquiry by the January 6 committee is not a criminal investigation. That task is being handled by the FBI and the Department of Justice. 

Retired Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco FBI, Jeff Harp says there is little doubt the DOJ is paying close attention to the proceedings. 

"If there are new things that come out of these hearings, the FBI can use that information, can interview those people, they can charge people based on new evidence that's turned over," Harp said. 

So far 725 people have been arrested for the attack on the U.S. Capitol - and 225 have been charged. 

The January 6 committee is trying to illustrate to the American people that those inside the Capitol that day were following directives to attack from those in positions of power. 

Crane says the case being built is stunning. 

"In my opinion, the biggest scandal in American democracy - in American history. It makes Watergate look like a day in the park."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.