Live coverage: Hutchinson offers dramatic, first-hand account of White House on Jan. 6

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, is the mystery guest who is testifying Tuesday at a last-minute hearing organized by the select House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Hutchinson has already provided a wealth of information to the panel, sitting with its investigators over the course of four separate interviews.

Hutchinson is the first White House employee to testify publicly before the committee.

Follow The Hill’s live coverage below:

Trump allies have reached out to witnesses before testimony

3:13 p.m.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday indicated allies of former President Trump had contacted witnesses testifying to the Jan. 6 committee before their testimony in a bid to urge them to remain loyal. 

Cheney displayed a message to one of the committee’s witnesses that read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.” 

Cheney also showed a statement from a witness in which the person recalled being told that as long as they remained loyal to Trump and his team, “I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee.” 

The messages raise questions about potential witness intimidation and underscore the risk individuals like Cassidy Hutchinson have taken in testifying in person.  

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported Hutchinson got security in recent days due to concerns about her safety before she testified before the committee. 

— Brett Samuels

Trump offered Jan. 7 remarks amid fears of 25th amendment: Hutchinson

3:05 p.m.

Former President Trump gave a recorded address on Jan. 7, 2021, in which he acknowledged he would leave office and condemned violence at the Capitol under pressure from a group of White House advisers, former aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified Tuesday. 

Hutchinson, who served as a top aide to former chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riots that Trump initially resisted giving a speech the day after the attack on the Capitol. 

Ultimately, a group of White House aides convinced Trump it was necessary to say something both to condemn the violence and to quell talk of invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office before the end of his term, Hutchinson said. 

That group included Meadows, former White House senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, former White House lawyers Pat Cipollone, Eric Herschmann and Pat Philbin, and former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. 

But, Hutchinson testified, Trump did not agree with certain parts of the speech that was drafted for him. 

She said there were “several lines that didn’t make it in there about prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent.” 

“He didn’t want that in there. He wanted to put in there that he wanted to potentially pardon them,” she said. “This is just with the increased emphasis of his mindset at the time which was he didn’t think they did anything wrong. The person who did something wrong that day was Mike Pence.”

In the address, Trump ultimately said a new administration would take office on Jan. 20, 2021, and he said those who broke the law on Jan. 6 would face consequences. 

— Brett Samuels

Meadows said Trump ‘thinks Mike deserves it’ following ‘hang Mike Pence’ chants: ex-aide

2:59 p.m.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the Jan. 6 select committee that Meadows said then-President Trump “thinks Mike deserves it” after learning that rioters outside the Capitol were chanting “hang Mike Pence.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the Jan. 6 panel, introduced a clip of Hutchinson’s previous testimony, noting that the witness heard Trump, Meadows and the White House counsel discussing the “hang Mike Pence” chants in the White House.

“I remember Pat saying something to the effect of ‘Mark we need to do something more, they’re literally calling for the vice president to be f’ing hung,’” Hutchinson said, recalling comments from former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

According to Hutchinson, Meadows responded by saying Trump did not think the rioters were doing anything wrong.

“Mark had responded something to the effect of ‘you heard him Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.’ To which Pat said something, ‘this is f’ing crazy, we need to be doing something more,’” Hutchinson testified.

The ex-aide said she that when Meadows said Trump “doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong,” she believed him to be referring to the rioters.

“When Mark had said something to the effect of ‘he doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong,’ knowing what I heard briefly in the dining room, coupled with Pat discussing the hang Mike Pence chants in the lobby of our office, and then Mark’s response, I understood ‘they’re’ to be the rioters in the Capitol that were chanting for the vice president to be hung,” he testified.

— Mychael Schnell

McCarthy called aide on Jan. 6 during Trump speech: ‘Don’t come up here

2:50 p.m.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified on Tuesday that she received a call from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during then-President Trump’s speech at the Ellipse urging them not to come to the Capitol.

McCarthy called Hutchinson after Trump, during his remarks at the Ellipse, said he and a massive group of his supporters would be marching to the Capitol. Hutchinson said she was in a tent behind the stage and did not hear Trump urging his supporters.

She said McCarthy “sounded rushed but also frustrated and angry at me.”

“He then explained ‘the president just said he’s marching to the Capitol. You told me this whole week you aren’t coming up here, why would you lie to me?’” McCarthy said, according to Hutchinson.

The ex-White House aide told McCarthy she was not lying, emphasizing that the president was not going to the Capitol.

“And he said ‘well, he just said it on stage. Cassidy. Figure it out, don’t come up here.’ I said I’ll run the traps on this and I’ll shoot you a text, I can assure you we’re not coming up to the Capitol, we’ve already made that decision,” Hutchinson testified.

“I sent Mr. McCarthy another text telling him the affirmative, that we were not going up to the Capitol, and he did not respond after that,” Hutchinson testified.

— Mychael Schnell

Trump threw lunch at wall over Barr dismissing claims of fraud

2:23 p.m.

Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday that former President Trump was so upset that then-Attorney General William Barr dismissed claims of widespread election fraud that he threw his lunch at the wall in the West Wing dining room. 

Hutchinson recalled hearing noise from down the hall shortly after Barr’s interview with the Associated Press went live in which Barr said he had not seen evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, despite Trump’s claims to the contrary. 

“I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall, and there was a shattered porcelain plate,” Hutchinson testified to the House panel.

“The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general’s AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing them to have to clean up. “So I grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off the wall to help the valet out.” 

Hutchinson said it was not the only time she’d heard of Trump losing his temper. She said there were “several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the table cloth.” 

— Brett Samuels

Trump struggled for wheel against Secret Service agent when told he couldn’t go to Capitol, ex-aide says

2:18 p.m.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide in the Trump White House, testified on Tuesday that former President Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his Secret Service vehicle on Jan. 6, 2021, when he was told he could not go to the Capitol with his supporters. 

Hutchinson and other former White House aides told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots that Trump had been pushing to go the Capitol after giving a speech on the Ellipse on Jan. 6. 

Hutchinson told the committee that then-deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato told her that Trump was “irate” when Robert Engel, the special agent in charge for Secret Service on Jan. 6, told Trump when he got into the presidential limo that going to the Capitol would not be possible. 

“The president had a very strong a very angry response to that,” Hutchinson testified. “Tony described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f–ing president, take me up to the Capitol now.’” 

“[Engel] said, ‘Sir we have to go back to the West Wing,’” Hutchinson continued. “The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir you need to take your hand off the steering wheel, we’re going back to the West Wing we’re not going to the Capitol. 

“Trump then used free hand to lunge at Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified. 

— Brett Samuels

Top White House lawyer raised ‘serious legal concerns’ about Trump’s plan to speak at Jan. 6 rally not here to hurt me

2:10 p.m.

Pat Cipollone, Trump’s former White House counsel, had “serious legal concerns” about the then president’s plans to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, warning it could potentially lead to criminal charges, Hutchinson told the select committee.

Hutchinson testified that as early as Jan. 3, the White House’s top lawyer was warning of the criminal liability if Trump’s supporters committed violence following the president’s remarks.

“We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen,” Hutchinson said Cipollone told her on Jan. 3.

The Meadows aide said Cipollone specifically cited concerns about being charged with obstructing justice, obstructing Congress’s certification of the Electoral College results and “he was also worried that it would look like we were inciting a riot or encouraging a riot.”

The revelation adds another instance where Trump had been warned of potential legal ramifications posed by the various efforts to overturn the election.

According to the select committee, Cipollone’s comments followed several instances where national security and intelligence officials had warned of the possibility of violence being carried out on Jan. 6.

— Harper Neidig

Trump knew about weapons, says aide: ‘They’re not here to hurt me’

1:52 p.m.

Ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Tuesday testified that former President Trump and his former chief of staff Mark Meadows were both told attendees at the Jan. 6, 2021, Ellipse rally had weapons, and that Trump was frustrated that security measures were keeping those with weapons from joining the rally crowd.

Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot that Trump was “furious” that the Ellipse near the White House had not filled up to capacity for a rally on the morning of the Electoral College certification. 

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the panel, noted that Hutchinson, who testified publicly on Tuesday, spoke with Ratcliffe in December, 2020.

“I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f—— care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f—— mags away,’” Hutchinson testified. 

Hutchinson was referring to the magnetometers used by Secret Service to scan for weapons. 

— Brett Samuels

Former Trump White House aide says DNI Ratcliffe ‘didn’t want much to do’ with post-election efforts

1:37 p.m.

Cassidy Hutchinson, former special assistant to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified to the Jan. 6 select committee that former Trump Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe “didn’t want much to do” with the White House’s efforts following the 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the panel, noted that Hutchinson, who testified publicly on Tuesday, spoke with Ratcliffe in December, 2020.

“My understanding was Director Ratcliffe didn’t want much to do with the post-election period,” Hutchinson told the committee, according to a clip of previous testimony presented at Tuesday’s hearing.

“Director Ratcliffe felt that it wasn’t something that the White House should be pursuing. It felt it was dangerous for the president’s legacy. He had expressed to me that he was concerned that it could spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous either for our democracy or the way that things were going for the 6th,” she added.

Asked by committee investigators what Hutchinson was referring to when she said “it wasn’t something that the White House should be pursuing,” the former Trump aide listed off a number of post-election efforts that were embraced by Trump and his top allies.

“Trying to fight the results of the election. Finding missing ballots, pressuring— filing lawsuits in certain states where there didn’t seem to be significant evidence, and reaching out to state legislators about that. So pretty much the way that the White House was handling the post-election period,” Hutchinson said in previous testimony.

“He felt that there could be dangerous repercussions in terms of precedent set for elections, for our democracy, for the 6th, you know, he was hoping that we would concede,” she added.

Ratcliffe served as DNI between 2020 and 2021. Before that, he represented Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives for roughly five years.

— Mychael Schnell

Hutchinson: Meadows said events could go ‘real bad’ on Jan. 6

1:24 p.m.

Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday that former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows expressed concern events could get “real bad” on Jan. 6, 2021, just day before the riot at the Capitol unfolded. 

Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, said she spoke to Rudy Giuliani on Jan. 2, 2021. Giuliani, who was representing Trump at the time, said he expected Trump to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6 and “it’s going to be powerful.” 

Hutchinson said she relayed the conversation to Meadows, who responded with “something to the effect of, ‘there’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.’” 

“I was apprehensive about the 6th. But when hearing Rudy’s take on Jan. 6 and Mark’s response, that was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6,” Hutchinson testified.

“And I had a deeper concern for what was happening with the planning aspects of it.” 

— Brett Samuels

Farah Griffin praises Hutchinson’s ‘bravery’

1:09 p.m.

Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah praised Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Mark Meadows while he was former President Trump’s chief of staff, before she testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“I can’t imagine the pressure Cassidy has been under to defy Congress, facing harassment and threats,” Farah wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. “But she’s putting the country first and for that I am grateful to her & in awe of her bravery.”

The committee made a surprise announcement on Monday that it would hold a hearing on Tuesday.

The first White House employee to publicly testify before the panel, Hutchinson is believed to have information about what transpired in the chief of staff’s office following the 2020 presidential election.

Since leaving the White House, Farah has been hired as a political analyst on CNN and served as a guest host on ABC’s “The View.” She has written a book about her experiences in the White House and has criticized Trump, his allies in Congress and his repeated false claims of a “stolen” election.

Dominick Mastrangelo

Who is Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Meadows aide testifying on Jan. 6?

11:00 a.m.

Cassidy Hutchinson on Tuesday will appear before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol in a last-minute session convened to hear new evidence.

Hutchinson served as a special assistant to former President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, and her appearance is a big get for the committee — she will be the first White House employee to publicly testify.

She’s already sat with the committee’s investigators four times, providing some 20 hours of testimony.

As an aide to Meadows — who himself was at the center of efforts between the campaign, Congress and the Justice Department to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election — Hutchinson has provided insight on activities happening across the White House.

It was a taped deposition with Hutchinson that the committee used to detail which Republican lawmakers had sought pardons from Trump. It was her testimony that indicated that Meadows had been warned about the potential for violence on Jan. 6. And Hutchinson also told investigators that White House lawyers had advised against the Trump campaign’s alternate elector scheme.

Her testimony has even offered details on Trump’s reactions the day of the riot. It was Hutchinson who detailed Trump’s indifference to chants of “Hang Mike Pence” unfolding at the riot, suggesting the supporters “have the right idea.”

Rebecca Beitsch

Get caught up while you’re waiting for hearing to begin

10:55 a.m.

Tuesday’s hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Get caught up on The Hill’s latest coverage while you are waiting.

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The Hill staff

Tags 2020 election Capitol breach Jan. 6 hearings John Ratcliffe Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Mark Meadows Mike Pence Pat Cipollone Rudy Giuliani Trump William Barr
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