An abruptly scheduled special hearing of the Select Committee of the House of Representatives on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot investigation promised what some felt might be a “smoking gun” in the probe of the criminal and seditious actions of former corrupt president Donald Trump on Tuesday. It turned out to be even more explosive than many expected.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a young former aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in two hours of direct, documented testimony, laid out how the divisive president knew many of the unruly mob of his supporters were heavily armed with AR-15 assault-style weapons, Glock semi-automatic handguns and more and ready for violent action that he wanted to lead into the Capitol as an insurrection to overturn a legal election that defeated him in the 2020 presidential election.
“I’m the fucking president,” the vile, vulgar maniac declared to a Secret Service agent as Trump tried to force him to drive him to the Capitol and not back to the White House on that day of infamy, Jan. 6, 2021.
Hutchinson laid out a story, with notes, names of those who can, and will, collaborate much of what she revealed about the out-of-control president who hurled the contents of meals against White House walls, leaving ketchup and other stains, whenever he learned of something that displeased him in those final days of a disgraced presidency.
“It was one of several times throughout my time with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor,” Hutchinson told the hearing on Tuesday.
She also told how Meadows, a former member of Congress, appeared lost and unable to cope with Trump. As The Washington Post reported:
Hutchinson’s testimony painted a consistent and unflattering portrait of Meadows, the former congressman turned Trump acolyte who left the House to become chief of staff. She frequently described him as staring at his phone and detached from events unfolding around him. Hutchinson has not spoken to Meadows since early 2021, and has lost touch with most of the other figures in the Trump and Meadows orbit, people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.
Meadows did not dispute Hutchinson’s testimony and refused to respond to questions from the media after her appearance at the committee hearing on Tuesday.
Hutchinson detailed Trump’s anger over what he felt was smaller than he felt he “deserved,” crowd when he spoke on Jan, 6 and said he wanted the Secret Service agents to stop using the metal-detecting magnetometers that would stop those who were armed.
“He was angry that we weren’t letting people through the mags with weapons,” she said, adding, “I overheard the president say something to the effect of, you know, I don’t fucking care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in.”
The agents continued to use the mags and the Post reported:
But she said Trump’s anger had yet to peak. After leaving the stage, Trump returned to his motorcade under the apparent belief that he would then be taken to the Capitol — a belief that Meadows, despite the warnings from Cipollone and others, had done nothing to undercut. Hutchinson described being told by Ornato what had happened next: Trump got into an armored presidential vehicle with Robert Engel, the chief of his Secret Service security detail.
Engel, according to Hutchinson’s account, then told Trump he could not travel to the Capitol. It was not secure, and Trump would have to return to the White House.
“The president had a very strong, a very angry response to that,” Hutchinson said, relaying Ornato’s account. “The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the fucking president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’ to which [Engel] responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.’”
Trump, at that point, “reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson said. “Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and 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.’ Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel, and when Mr. Ornato had recounted this story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.”
Hutchinson said that Engel was present when Ornato relayed the account and that neither man cast doubt on the story then or since.
The Secret Service released a statement Tuesday that did not directly address the substance of Hutchinson’s testimony but said the agency “has been cooperating with the Select Committee since its inception in spring 2021.”
The three agents do not dispute Hutchinson’s account that Trump was furious upon learning they were not taking him to the Capitol and exchanged tense words with Engel when the detail leaders told him it would be unsafe and impossible to go the Capitol alongside Trump’s supporters.
Hutchinson’s vivid testimony showed a 25-year-old aide has more guts and more concern about democracy than too many of the pretentious acolytes who continue to embrace the corrupt, criminal Trump.
“We are all in her debt,” declared Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the Select Committee. “Our nation is preserved by those who abide by their oath to our Constitution. Our nation is preserved by those who know the fundamental difference between right and wrong. And I want all Americans to know that what Ms. Hutchinson has done today is not easy.”
Not easy, but a needed, valuable service to America.
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