March 22, 2023

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Unpublished testimony explodes Trump’s defense

A member of the former president’s cabinet described to the commission of inquiry that Trump was fully aware of the situation and wanted to join his armed supporters who had marched to Congress.

Reporter in Washington,

The Commission of Inquiry into the January 6, 2021 events gave a bad testimony on Tuesday afternoon to Donald Trump and his entourage. During a surprise session announced only the day before, Cassidy Hutchinson, a close ally of White House Secretary-General Mark Meadows, came to describe the scenes and conversations he witnessed that day and earlier.

During Trump’s speech at Ellipse Park on the morning of January 6, and then on that awkward day inside the White House, this 26-year-old woman gave one of the first thorough testimonies she experienced from inside the Commission of Inquiry. , The atmosphere that ruled Donald Trump’s entourage, but the many detailed conversations that make it difficult for the former president and his close associates to misinterpret the thesis of ignorance or peaceful protest.

The young woman’s conversations with Mark Meadows and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, remove the ambiguity about what Trump’s entourage knows about the explosive nature of the demonstration in Washington by Joe Biden’s victory congress.

Hutchinson explained that four days earlier, on January 2, 2021, Rudy Giuliani had informed him that the President wanted to lead the protesters who had gathered to contest the Capital election. “Cos, are you excited for January 6th? ⁇Said the lawyer. “This is going to be a great day … we’re going to Capitol. It’s going to be awesome!

When she sneaks into Mark Meadows’ office to describe the conversation, the latter worries: “A lot is going on, cos, but I do not know, it’s going to get worse on January 6th.”The White House Secretary of State hung up his phone. “It was that night that reminded me of the fear and anxiety I had about what would happen on January 6th.”The young woman told the commission.

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“They can walk to the Capitol”

Hutchinson also said he had heard the names of two far-right groups involved in the attack on Capitol mentioned in White House talks. Proud boys And this Those who swear allegiance, Many of its members have been arrested and charged with conspiracy and treason. That same morning, White House legal adviser Pat Cipolon warned Hutchinson and asked him to do everything possible to prevent Trump from leading the opposition and marching on the Capitol.

“Make sure we do not go to the Capitol”He told him. “If we go there we will be charged with every crime we can imagine.” “He was concerned that we might seem to be inciting a riot or promoting an attack on the Capitol.” She said.

According to Hutchinson, Trump and his entourage were fully aware of the weapons in the crowd at the January 6 rally in Ellipse Square: stun grenades, knives, brass knuckles, tasers and blunt objects. Trump was angered by security checks that prevented him from approaching the podium where he was delivering his speech. “I would do nothing if they had guns! They didn’t come here to hurt me! Drop those fucking gates and let people in, and from here they can walk to the Capitol! ⁇Hutchinson testified.

Trump was furious

After the speech, he announced that he was walking to the Capitol with the crowd, and Trump ran to the instructions of his bodyguards. The Secret Service Cipolon considers the move to be dangerous, and warned against its leader “Very very bad idea”. Returning to the White House, Hutchinson learns how an angry Trump got into a fight with his bodyguard. According to him, Tony Arnado, deputy director of the White House staff, described how Robert Engel, then president’s bodyguard, saw Trump try to drive in front of a presidential limousine. “I’m the president!” Take me to the Capitol now! ⁇Trump shouted as Agent chased Angle.

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When rioting erupts in the Capitol, calling for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence, Meadows is shocked to hear Trump explain that he approves of the slogan. I remember Pat Pat Cipolon telling Meadows, ‘Mark, we still need to do something, they’re really asking that VP be hanged.’He told the commission. “And Mark said something like, ‘You heard it, Pat, Mike thinks he deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.’

In an interview with the Associated Press, Hutchinson described how Trump was outraged to learn that his attorney general, William Barr, had publicly denied allegations of election fraud. “I went to the dining room, the door was open and the wallet was changing tablecloths. He shook me inside and pointed to the wall of the fireplace mantel and TV: ketchup was running on the wall, there was a broken china plate on the floor.

“As an American, I hate it.”

But above all the lack of reaction from the White House during the riots makes Cassidy Hutchinson very terrified. Shortly after the riot broke out inside the Capitol, legal adviser Pat Ciplon rushed to Meadows’ office to request a meeting with Trump. But Meadows responded that the president did not want to hear anything and did not want to be disturbed. Cipolan, says Hutchinson, “Mark said very clearly: do something or people will die and there will be blood on your hands!”

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When Trump finally sends a message on Twitter, instead of appealing to his supporters to keep quiet, he continues to accuse Mike Pence of not having the courage, and Hutchinson is over. “As a member of the presidential administration, after doing everything to highlight what the president has done for the country … I feel devastated, disappointed and personally hurt. It was so sad … As an American, I was disgusted. What the President is doing is a patriotic act. That is anti-American. We saw Capitol being insulted in the name of a lie. It was so hard to accept … it was so hard for me to overcome the emotions it still developed in me.

The day after Jan. 6, Hutchinson confirmed to investigators how Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani had been asked to benefit from a presidential pardon.

Hidden threats

This largely unpublished testimony from a member of Donald Trump’s cabinet came as a precautionary measure to dismantle entire sections of the former president’s defense. While the House Committee does not have the authority to lay charges against the former president, the findings of its inquiry make it increasingly difficult for Attorney General Merrick Garland to ignore the poor record. The commission also revealed hidden threats sent to witnesses by Trump’s entourage. She reminded those who had not yet “Courage to speak” That it was not too late to come and testify.