After receiving much criticism for her explosive testimony on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson insists she stands by her shocking assertions.
Hutchinson, who worked for Trump’s last chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed shocking and previously untold anecdotes to an attentive audience on Tuesday, including that Trump tried to overpower his Secret Service detail and commandeer the presidential SUV in an effort to join the throng of his supporters seeking to overturn the election results.
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Trump supporters first dismissed Hutchinson’s accusations as primarily “hearsay,” since they relied on what Hutchinson said she was told rather than what she experienced firsthand. However, several of the most shocking accounts were later contradicted by the people involved.
“Ms. Hutchinson stands by all of the testimony she delivered yesterday, under oath, to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol,” Hutchinson’s attorneys Jody Hunt and William Jordan said in a statement.
But significant points of contention are beginning to emerge, which may be resolved when witnesses with first-hand knowledge testify at future hearings.
Trump Grabbed The SUV Wheel, Lunged For An Agent
An “irate” Trump allegedly grabbed the wheel of the SUV he was riding in and lunged at Secret Service agent Robert “Bobby” Engel after Engel told him he could not join thousands of his fans marching to the Capitol. This claim was the first to face substantial pushback and received the most immediate attention.
“I’m the f—ing president! Take me up to the Capitol now!” Trump allegedly shouted.
Anthony Ornato, the White House’s deputy chief of staff for operations, is the one who reportedly informed Hutchinson of the event. She claimed Engel was present when Ornato informed her about the incident shortly after it occurred and that the agent did not dispute her account.
Both Engel and the SUV driver denied the claim and were eager to testify under oath, according to Secret Service sources who briefed major news outlets shortly after her testimony. It was told by an unnamed Secret Service official that Ornato, who is still employed there, denied telling Hutchinson about the incident.
“The Secret Service has been cooperating fully with the select committee since its inception in the spring of 2021 and we will continue to do so by responding formally and on the record to the committee regarding new allegations that surfaced in yesterday’s testimony,” Secret Service Chief of Communications Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement in response to Hutchinson’s testimony.
President Trump Threw His Lunch Against The Wall
When asked about the Attorney General Bill Barr‘s interview with the Associated Press on December 1, 2020, in which he disputed the president’s election fraud allegations, Hutchinson vividly recalled helping to clean ketchup off the wall of a West Wing dining room after Trump allegedly slammed his lunch plate against it in a fit of rage.
Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony has left Merrick Garland no choice but to indict Donald Trump for directing a mob, he knew was armed, to march to the Capitol and attempt to overthrow the United States Government.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) June 29, 2022
She testified that she saw “ketchup streaming down the wall” and a broken porcelain plate on the floor. To help the valet, “I picked up a towel and began wiping the ketchup off the wall.”
Hutchinson Drafted Potential Trump Statement During Riot
As pro-Trump protestors trashed the Capitol and sent officials fleeing for their lives, Hutchinson testified that she jotted down notes of possible speeches during which Trump would ask the rioters to leave.
When the note was produced as evidence, she claimed, “that’s my handwriting.”
“Anyone who entered the Capitol illegally without proper authority should leave immediately,” the note said. The word “illegally” was later crossed out.
Meadows allegedly dictated the statement to Hutchinson, who testified that she was instructed to alter the word “illegally” to “without lawful authority” by then-White House attorney Eric Herschmann.
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