Former Meadows aide to testify in surprise Jan. 6 committee hearing

Source: Politico | June 27, 2022 | Nicholas Wu, Kyle Cheney and Ryan Lizza

Capitol riot investigators, citing “recently obtained evidence,” changed course after deciding to pause their public events until July.

The Jan. 6 select committee is set to hear from a onetime top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Tuesday, an abruptly scheduled hearing whose announcement riveted Washington.

Cassidy Hutchinson will testify publicly, according to two people familiar with the committee’s plans, after providing crucial testimony to the panel about significant exchanges among Donald Trump’s inner circle in the weeks before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Hutchinson replaced her attorney earlier this month as the select committee’s hearings began; her former attorney was the Trump White House’s chief ethics lawyer, and her new attorney is a longtime ally of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Earlier Monday the select panel announced a surprise hearing, with about 24 hours’ notice, “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.” That statement included no details on the testimony or witnesses — and the sudden schedule change intensified intrigue in Washington, where the panel has mounted a carefully choreographed set of hearings about the former president’s election subversion.

It’s unclear why the panel expedited Hutchinson’s hearing, or whether she will appear alongside other significant witnesses. Hutchinson was present during meetings between Meadows and multiple House Republicans who aided Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election. Snippets of her video deposition supported the committee’s contention that several of those Republicans later sought presidential pardons.

Hutchinson also provided testimony to the committee that Meadows burned some of his papers after a meeting with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who was advocating for Trump to replace the leadership of the Justice Department in service of his effort to remain in power. Lengthy excerpts of Hutchinson’s testimony have already been made public as part of the committee’s litigation against Meadows, who sued to block a subpoena for his own testimony and records.

Among other revelations Hutchinson helped unearth: that the White House counsel informed members of Trump’s team that it believed a plan to authorize alternative slates of presidential electors was illegal. She also described Meadows’ movements on Jan. 6, as chaos began to unfold at the Capitol.

“I know that he was on several calls during the rally. And I went over to meet with him at one point, and he had just waved me away, which is out of the ordinary,” Hutchinson recalled.

She also recalled hearing of Trump’s Jan. 6 movements on a Secret Service radio channel that broadcast his location to West Wing aides. That channel helped her discern that Trump was in the Oval Office dining room after his rally speech that afternoon.


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