Toobin on GOP officials staying mum on Trump revelations: ‘they’re a bunch of cowards’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted on Wednesday that almost no prominent GOP officials have expressed alarm over former President Trump’s behavior during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, despite explosive allegations made by a top White House aide during a public hearing on Tuesday.
“I think they’re a bunch of cowards. I think they’re totally terrified of Trump,” Toobin said of elected GOP officials running for office. “And the idea that they’re willing to talk to journalists on background..so what. I think…Donald Trump still runs that party and everyone in it who has to face the voters is still terrified of him.”
Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room, Toobin noted that Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former chief of staff, had come out with stiff criticism of the president on Wednesday, but noted he had no office to lose.
“You know, he’s out of politics. I haven’t heard one elected official who’s still running, except for [Rep.] Liz Cheney, who is critical on the record,” Toobin told host Wolf Blitzer.
Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, is facing an uphill battle to keep her seat, facing a challenge from Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman.
Toobin’s remarks come as a slew of GOP lawmakers and officials have publicly dismissed the testimony of Cassidy Hutchison, a special assistant to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who appeared before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Tuesday.
Hutchinson, who served as a top aide for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, detailed one incident where Trump allegedly tried to order his way to the Capitol as the mob was storming the building, lunging toward security detail and trying to grab the steering wheel of the vehicle they were in.
Members of the Secret Service who were in the care are reportedly prepared to testify that they were note assaulted by Trump and that the former president did not try to grab the steering wheel.
Hutchinson also said that Trump was aware that a number of protesters attending his rally earlier in the day were armed, but still encouraged them to march to the Capitol.
However, in an op-ed published in USA Today on Wednesday, Mulvaney wrote that allegations that members of Trump’s team intimidated witnesses who testified to the House panel is the most troubling complication for Trump.
“After some of the bombshells that got dropped in that hearing, my guess is that things could get very dark for the former president,” he wrote.
“Even if Donald Trump were as innocent as the virgin snow [on] Jan. 6, even if he didn’t know about the guns, or didn’t assault his agent, or had absolutely no clue what the Proud Boys were up to,” Mulvaney wrote, “If he obstructed justice related to the Jan. 6 hearings, then he could well become just the next politician to learn the hard lesson that it usually isn’t the crime. It’s the cover-up.”
Trump responded to Hutchinson’s claims on his Truth Social social media platform, saying he had no memory of working with Hutchinson and adding that she was “bad news” and a “leaker.”
In a separate statement, the attorneys for Hutchinson said that their client stands by every word she said at the congressional hearing.