The select committee scheduled a last-minute session with an unexpected witness concerning Jan. 6.
On Tuesday, the nine-member committee brought out Cassidy Hutchinson, a top adviser to former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The afternoon hearing was sealed until Hutchinson offered additional bombshell information, allegedly damning the former Republican president.
“Until today, our hearings have each addressed individual components of President Trump’s strategy to overturn the 2020 election,” said Panel Vice-Chair Liz Cheney.
“Today, we diverge from that methodology since Ms. Hutchinson’s statement touches on numerous significant cross-cutting subjects.”
Cheney said Hutchinson “managed a large number of delicate matters” while working “inches from the Oval Office” and “nearly every day with the White House Secret Service.”
Just a reminder that if someone wants to refute Hutchinson's sworn testimony, they're free to do so under oath. Until then, maybe we don't defer to random unnamed sources who are "familiar with the situation."
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) June 29, 2022
Cheney claimed Hutchinson knew a lot about Trump’s White House.
Andrew McCarthy, the National Review’s Cheney booster, called the testimony “disastrous” as the panel’s new narrative came apart.
In her two hours of unsubstantiated hearsay, Hutchinson painted a picture of an insane president who was involved in his followers vandalizing the Capitol and ready to see the spectacle.
She remarked in a taped interview at the court, “I don’t remember what he wanted to do.”
“There was talk of him giving a speech outside the Capitol before entering. I know there was a discussion about him heading into the House chamber at one moment.”
In public testimony, Hutchinson told lawmakers that Trump had a violent outburst when the Secret Service declined to let him inside the Capitol as fans flooded the facility.
“The president stated, ‘I’m the f’ing president, take me up to the Capitol immediately,” Hutchinson claimed, citing then-White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato, who described a confrontation involving Trump and Secret Service Special Agent Bobby Engel.
“The president grabbed the steering wheel.” Mr. Engel took his hand and yelled, “Sir, take your hands off the wheel. We’re headed to the West Wing. We’re not going to DC.”
Hutchinson continued, “Mr. Trump lunged towards Bobby Engel. When Mr. Ornato told me this account, he pointed to his clavicles.”
It All Falls Apart
Moments following Hutchinson’s testimony, NBC’s Peter Alexander, reported that Bobby Engel, the senior agent, and the president’s limousine/SUV driver, are set to testify in court that none of this happened.
🚨 A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) June 28, 2022
CBS News “confirmed” the agency’s denial, possibly from the very same sources. Hours later, a spokesperson for former White House counsel Eric Herschmann said Hutchinson’s handwritten memo was originally written by Herschmann.
The message included a remark for the president to deliver as the riot developed on Capitol Hill.
A representative told ABC News Tuesday night that the note Cassidy Hutchinson claimed she wrote was written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021. All direct sources and police forces will prove Mr. Herschmann wrote it.