It now appears that the mystery witness that the House Select Committee investigating January 6th will hear testimony from today in their hastily-scheduled hearing will be Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
When the House committee announced an unscheduled hearing yesterday, there was wide speculation as to who the surprise witness would be – and Punchbowl News, which first broke the story of the surprise hearing, later disclosed that its sources pointed to Hutchinson.
Cassidy Hutchinson has already given testimony to the committee in private, but now the public will get to hear firsthand what she knows. The secrecy around her appearance today was attributed to concerns about her security in the face of potential threats from far-right extremists after Hutchinson revealed that right-wing lawmakers such as Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) had asked for pardons in the wake of the January 6th insurrection.
Hutchinson may not be a household name, but she definitely has the goods. After two subpoenas and three depositions, Hutchinson is reported to have told the investigative panel that not only was her former boss, Meadows, aware of potential violence the day of the Capitol riot but burned papers in his office in the weeks after the 2020 election, according to POLITICO.
When asked about Cassidy Hutchinson’s private testimony, House Select Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-NY), told The Washington Post Live:
“She is certainly someone who rendered truthful testimony to our committee and you will see other junior staffers who cooperated enthusiastically with this investigation into this attack on our country.”
Another sign that Hutchinson’s public testimony will be worth watching is the fact that she has fired her former attorneys who were closely associated with the Trump camp. Hutchinson got rid of Stefan Passantino whose firm housed attorneys who worked on Trump’s campaign and represented Trump himself. Instead, she chose to switch to Jody Hunt – former chief of staff to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Hunt defended his former boss when Sessions fell out of favor with Trump after recusing himself during the Russia probe.
Right. Listen carefully to what Comey said about the investigation as it relates to the “campaign.” This is why it was ethically correct for Sessions to recuse because of his role in the campaign. The recusal notice speaks to matters related to the “campaign.” https://t.co/U65nHJJuEr
— Jody Hunt (@realJodyHunt) August 15, 2020
While her former boss, Mark Meadows, has thumbed his nose at the select committee’s requests to appear –a stance that has resulted in a contempt referral to the Justice Department – Hutchinson has been very forthcoming with her testimony. She even confirmed Trump’s delight when his mob of MAGA supporters wanted to hang then–Vice President Mike Pence. She also broke the pardon scandal wide open, having had direct conversations with members of Congress about securing pardons on their behalf. And according to The Washington Post, when high-ranking Secret Service official Anthony Ornato told Meadows about possible violence at the Capitol on January 6th, Hutchinson gave this account to the committee of how it went down:
“Coming in and saying that we had intel reports saying that there could potentially be violence on the 6th. And Mr. Meadows said: All right. Let’s talk about it.”
Despite being young, Cassidy Hutchinson has racked up quite a resume. She interned for both Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Unlike many of those she worked closely with at the White House, Hutchinson has cooperated with the House Select Committee’s investigation, joining the ranks of former DOJ official Jeffrey Rosen and a few other top aides to the ex-President.
The hearing today was unscheduled, with little detail leaked to let the public know what to expect. We’ll soon see what more Hutchinson will bring to the table when the cameras roll.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick
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