ICYMI, Scott Lemieux
summarized today's explosive testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson
, Chief of
Staff Mark Meadows
' assistant, so we didn't have to:
- Ms. Hutchinson testified that Mr. Trump demanded that his
supporters be able to move around freely even though he knew they were
armed, objecting to the presence of magnetometers to detect weapons. She
testified that she was “in the vicinity of a conversation where I
overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘You know, I
don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me.
Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the
Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.’”
rioters stormed the Capitol, chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” Mr. Trump
endorsed the violence. Ms. Hutchinson testified that Mr. Meadows said of
Mr. Trump, “He doesn’t want to do anything,” and “He thinks Mike
deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”
Hutchinson testified that Mr. Meadows was worried as early as Jan. 2
that Mr. Trump’s rally could get out of control, telling her “Things
might get, real, real bad on Jan. 6.” Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s
personal attorney, had told her it would be a great day, when the
president would go to the Capitol and be with members of Congress.
M. Ornato, the former White House chief of operations, warned Mr.
Meadows on Jan. 6 that the crowd seemed ready for violence, and had
knives, guns, bear spray, body armor, spears and flagpoles. She said Mr.
Meadows did not look up from his phone, but asked Mr. Ornato whether he
had informed Mr. Trump, which Mr. Ornato said he had. “He almost had a
lack of reaction,” Ms. Hutchinson testified of Mr. Meadows’ reaction to
the mob attacking the Capitol.
- Ms. Hutchinson testified that
there had been discussions about Mr. Trump giving a speech at the
Capitol on Jan. 6 and even going into the House chamber as Congress met
to make its official count of electoral votes. But Pat Cipollone, the
White House counsel, had serious legal concerns about Trump marching to
the Capitol on Jan. 6, Ms. Hutchinson testified, saying that he had told
her: “We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable.”
Hutchinson said she was outraged that Mr. Trump continued to tweet
against Mr. Pence as the violence raged at the Capitol, denigrating him
even as the crowd was braying for his execution. “As an American, I was
disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the
Capitol building get defaced over a lie,” she said.
- Inside the
White House, Mr. Trump became enraged when he learned that William P.
Barr, the former attorney general, had publicly shot down his false
allegations of a stolen election. He beat the table and threw dishes,
splattering ketchup on the wall, Ms. Hutchinson said, adding that it was
not the first time she had seen the president smash crockery in a rage.
Hutchinson said both Mr. Meadows and Mr. Giuliani expressed interest in
receiving presidential pardons after the violence of Jan. 6.
It all paints a vivid picture of a completely unhinged, corrupt, violent, treasonous Malignant Loser with vignettes heretofore not known, and of the Malignant Loser and his enablers -- chiefly Mark Meadows -- actively engaged in the coup attempt up to and including wanting to participate in the violent attack on the Capitol.
One other detail revealed by Ms. Hutchinson, as revealed to her by Ornato, was the Malignant Loser's physical attack on his Secret Service head of detail, Bobby Engel:
According to Hutchinson, when Trump got in The Beast—the bullet-proof
limousine that carries the president—following his infamous address
whipping up his supporters, he demanded the officers take him to the
seat of Congress. “I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol
now,” Trump reportedly told his security detail.
his lead security detail, Bobby Engel, told him they couldn’t because
it was not secure, the “president had a very strong, very angry
response,” Hutchinson testified that former Deputy Chief of Staff Tony
Ornato told her. After Engel still refused, Trump tried to grab the
steering wheel, Hutchinson said. After a Secret Service agent told him,
“Sir you need to take your hand off the steering wheel,” he allegedly
lunged at him and grabbed the agent’s throat.
The hearing ended with another stunner, with Vice Chair Cheney indicating some witnesses had been subject to tampering:
The GOP vice-chair of the January 6 committee ended a damning hearing
on Tuesday by presenting evidence that figures close to former
President Donald Trump may have engaged in tampering with some witnesses
who have testified in the probe.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of
Wyoming offered the two examples of apparent witness tampering at the
end of a surprise hearing held by the House Select Committee
investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
two messages that she said witnesses had received ahead of their
depositions. The witnesses, who Cheney didn't name, subsequently shared
the messages with the committee.
It's completely believable that "figures close to" the Malignant Loser would engage in this type of criminal tampering. After all, he's always run a Mafia- like criminal enterprise, whether in the private sector or in the White House.
The committee continues to show up with the receipts, and then some.
(Photo: Cassidy Hutchinson today/ Jacquelyn Martin, AP)