Meadows, Giuliani asked for pardons over Jan. 6
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump legal adviser Rudy Giuliani asked former President Trump for pardons in the wake of Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, a former White House aide testified on Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson, one of Meadows’s top aides in the White House, was asked during a Jan. 6 select committee hearing whether the two men had requested pardons over the attack following a series of bombshells about Trump’s actions that day.
“Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon, yes ma’am,” Hutchinson said in response to the question from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the committee’s vice chair, after also confirming Giuliani’s own request for a pardon.
The revelations capped off a hearing filled with new details about the internal White House turmoil before, during and after the attack on the Capitol.
Attorneys for Meadows and Giuliani did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
As early as Jan. 2, 2021, Meadows predicted, “Things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6,” according to Hutchinson. White House lawyers and national security officials delivered grave warnings about the potential for violence and even potential criminal liability for White House aides ahead of Jan. 6.
Hutchinson testified that on the day of the attack, as news coverage was showing rioters closing in on the Capitol, she found Meadows sitting in his office, apparently unconcerned by the chaos.
She said White House counsel Pat Cipollone rushed into the chief of staff’s office and told him, “Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your f——- hands. This is getting out of control.”
The next day, as White House aides were drafting a speech Trump was to deliver as part of an effort to head off the possibility that cabinet officials would remove him from office using the 25th Amendment, Meadows argued in favor of including language about pardoning those involved in the attack.
And on Jan. 5, according to Hutchinson, Trump instructed Meadows to get in contact with Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, two Trump allies who had already received presidential pardons and had been promoting the effort to overturn the 2020 election.
Stone had reportedly been involved in coordinating post-election protests and was staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., that week, where he and other pro-Trump figures were monitoring events surrounding the “Stop the Steal” rally.
Hutchinson said she had advised Meadows not to visit Stone’s Willard Hotel “war room” on Jan. 5, and he instead called into a discussion with the right-wing provocateur. She testified that she did not have firsthand knowledge of what Meadows discussed with Stone and Flynn.
Updated at 3:56 p.m.