- Cassidy Hutchinson explained in detail why she decided to come clean to the committee on January 6th.
- Hutchinson told the panel that her pro-Trump lawyer advised her to mislead lawmakers.
- Ultimately, she said she wanted to prove her loyalty was true.
New minutes released by the House Jan. 6 committee on Thursday show how one key witness pressured a panel from lawyers to mislead the panel before opposing President Donald Trump and his allies. It shows whether it has been hanged.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a witness who served as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, told the committee that her pro-Trump lawyer repeatedly urged her to “downplay” her role in Trump’s White House, saying that she “We just want to focus on defending the president.”
But as the attorney-client relationship developed, Hutchinson grew increasingly uneasy about the advice of Stephan Passantino, former chief ethics attorney for President Trump’s White House, and eventually fired him. decided to tell the committee what she knew.
According to the transcript, Hutchinson first lied to the committee about whether he heard Trump rush into a Secret Service agent after being told he couldn’t go to the Capitol on January 6. I even admitted that
Transcripts released Thursday detail Hutchinson’s transformation from belligerent former aide to star witness, whose testimony painted a harrowing portrait of Trump’s final months in office.
No matter how hard she tried, Hutchinson could not escape Trump’s orbit.
At a deposition in September, Hutchinson told lawmakers how uncomfortable she felt after her first interview with the committee in February. Despite disagreeing with the strategy, he followed Passantino’s advice.
“Look, we want you in, we want you out,” Hutchinson said Pasantino told her before the appearance. you were the secretary You had an administrative role. ”
Hutchinson explained that in both this instance and many others, he was referring to a Trump sympathizer with plural pronouns. On many occasions, she said it wasn’t specified who “we” or “everyone” was.
“Honestly, I was really nervous about the first interview.
many reasons. You know, I felt like Donald Trump was looking over my shoulder,” Hutchinson later said.
Sometimes the subtleties are completely lost, and it became very clear who was watching.
“Mark wants me to know that he knows you will be loyal, that you will do the right thing tomorrow, and that you will protect him and your boss,” Hutchinson told the panel. rice field. Former Meadows Chief of Staff Ben Williamson told her the night before Hutchinson’s second appearance, “He knows we’re on the same team and she’s family.” .”
Guilt began to mount, Hutchinson later recalled. One of her biggest episodes concerns what would later become her most central testimony. In its first interview, the panel asked Hutchinson about what she knew about the reported confrontation between Trump and Secret Service agents in the president’s SUV on Jan. 6. I was appalled about the possibility of lying to the committee.
“‘Stephan, I’m a mess,'” Hutchinson recalled telling her attorney. “And he was like, ‘Don’t panic. It’s okay.’ I said, ‘No, Stephen, I’m a mess. I just lied.’ And he said, ‘You’re not lying.'”
Hutchinson said Passantino told her not to worry, that lawmakers wouldn’t know what the former aide didn’t remember.
“They don’t know you know, Cassidy. They don’t know you can remember some of these things,” Hutchinson said her attorney told her. “So you say ‘I don’t remember’ is a perfectly acceptable response to this.”
Hutchinson said Trump’s allies praised her for her loyalty and promised to look after her.
In between and leading up to the deposition, Hutchinson said she interviewed multiple Trump-related organizations and promised to help her and make sure she was taken care of. However, as Hutchinson’s appearances on the Commission became more and more public, several offers failed noticeably at key moments. Hutchinson recalled that Passantino was at the center of these discussions.
“They know you are loyal. I paraphrased what I said to her about a job offer related to Jason Miller.
Ultimately, Hutchinson’s conflicted feelings came to a head when House attorneys responded when her former boss, Meadows, dating back to his time in Congress, filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As Meadows debates why he can’t block the committee’s subpoena, House attorneys have revealed snippets of Hutchinson’s early testimony for the first time.
“I remember sitting there reading a book on the phone like this and glancing out the window at her Navy Yard apartment.
This belief was further reinforced by a phone call with an unnamed Republican congressman. A lawmaker, who Hutchinson said she had known for years, advised her that she needed to behave like she could live with her for the rest of her life.
“Yeah, Cassidy, you have to — you’re the one who’s going to have to live with the mirror test for the rest of your life,” the congressman told her. I know you are stressed about this too, if you just move on and forget about this, will you be able to live with yourself or will you?” want to do something about
Driving to his parents’ home in New Jersey, Hutchinson tried to find solace in history. He googled “Watergate” and he found the story of John Dean and Alexander Butterfield. Two aides during the Nixon era who turned their backs on the president and became legendary figures. Butterfield, deputy assistant to President Richard Nixon, has revealed to Senate investigators the existence of a recording system that puts the president on the road to eventual resignation in the face of possible impeachment.
After Butterfield recently ordered a book co-authored with legendary journalist Bob Woodward, Hutchinson knew it was time for a change. She called Alyssa Farrar, one of Trump’s former communications directors, who was outspoken in her criticism of Trump after the Capitol riots. Hutchinson said he told Farrar, who was also a former House aide, to return to the committee on Jan. 6. Hutchinson was especially ready to talk about the infamous episode in Beast.
After reaching the breaking point, Hutchinson was ready to prove his allegiance to the truth.
Unlike her previous appearances, she never responded, “I don’t remember,” when asked about details she clearly remembers. Passantino was still sitting behind her. This time, she was nervous because he had actually caught wind of what was going on. , did so with one of its cards carrying a representative sitting right behind her. Insiders were unable to reach Passantino for comment. He previously told CNN that he did not advise Hutchinson to mislead the panel. He said he didn’t remember talking to her.
“So the question for me was, where is my loyalty? And I knew where it was, but if I was loyal to my country and loyal to the truth?” We didn’t have the people to enable and empower us,” Hutchinson later told the panel. “Again, I partly thought it was corroborating. I didn’t think it was the first time you guys heard things.
On that mid-May day, Hutchinson was ready to give up promises of lavish jobs and guarantees that she would be “taken care of.” By the time they took their first break, Hutchinson could tell that Passantino was very shocked.
“‘How do they know all this? How do they know you know all this?'” “As far as I know, no one has ever talked about this. I know people who are involved in all this. Do you think that no one in the
Less than a month later, Hutchinson sent the former attorney a brief email.
“I am ending my attorney-client relationship, but we still have privileges,” Hutchinson said, paraphrasing her letter. Coordinate with Jodie Hunt.”
Through her emotional testimony, Hutchinson recalls her behavior before and after facing a strained relationship. One of them was with former Trump White House attorney employee Liz Horning, whom Hutchinson describes as one of her best friends at 1600 Penn.
On the night of June 27, Horning sent a final text message to a former close colleague.
According to Hutchinson, “Tell me that you are not a witness for tomorrow,” she wrote.
Hutchinson said it was unclear whether this was a gossipy joke or an allusion to the fact that Omatha in the Oval Office was about to go bankrupt.
What is clear is that Hutchinson was actually a witness. And her testimony changed the Jan. 6 investigation in a way no one expected.