A former top White House aide to then-President Donald Trump gave an explosive testimony to the Jan 6 committee, saying that Trump knowingly directed armed supporters to march on the Capitol as a last-ditch effort to cling to power.
At the House special committee’s sixth hearing into the Jan. 6, 2021 violent insurrection on the Capitol, testimony was heard from someone on the inside during the critical hours before and after the insurrection.
The hastily scheduled hearing showed Trump’s sheer fury over losing the 2020 election.
Cassidy Hutchinson was a former aide to Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows. She painted a devastating picture of a raging president spiraling out of control, and a White House unable to constrain him.
Hutchinson testified that Trump and key aides were warned about a Jan. 6 rally and that it could turn violent days prior. Then on the day, Trump stepped on stage in Washington, urging his supporters to “fight like hell” for his presidency.
Hutchinson said Meadows told her on Jan. 2 that “things might get real, real bad” on Jan. 6.
“That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous about what could happen on January 6,” Hutchinson testified.
The hearing came to a close with another explosive disclosure. The committee vice-chair, Republican Liz Cheney, suggested Trump allies have sought to “influence or impact” witnesses.
For two hours, Hutchinson peeled back a shocking view into the White House before, during and after the attack on the Capitol. She described Trump throwing his lunch against a wall, lunging for a secret service agent’s throat and demanding he drive him to the riot, and insisting that armed supporters be allowed to attend the rally that preceded the riot.
One of the details that has imprinted the most on the American public was the description of how Trump lunged at the secret service agent.
Trump became “irate” when he learned he was being driven back to the White House instead of the Capitol, where his rally was marching.
Furious, Trump ordered a Secret Service agent to take him to the Capitol: “I’m the effing president.”
Trump then lunged for the steering wheel and when that failed, grabbed the agent’s throat.
Hutchinson told the committee she remembers mentions of far-right extremist groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers in days leading up to Jan. 6.
She also testified that Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani sought presidential pardons.
Hutchinson also told the committee that following the insurrection members of Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th amendment, which allows for the forced removal of a president.