Cassidy Hutchinson, the one-time aide to former President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, will testify before the January 6 committee on Tuesday.
The 1 PM ET hearing was announced abruptly Monday night and her appearance was kept tightly under wraps due to concerns, in large part, over her threats to her safety. Hutchinson’s cooperation and testimony have been integral to the probe; :ast week, investigators revealed a portion of her testimony where she said that a slew of Republican lawmakers sought presidential pardons after the Capitol assault.
Punchbowl News was the first to break the news about her appearance today.
RELATED STORY: Do not be distracted: Some key details that have emerged from the Jan. 6 probe
The rush to have Hutchinson testify publicly and in person suggests that the committee is anxious to have her appear, though precisely why is unclear. A spokesperson for the probe did not respond to a request for comment.
The former White House aide has met at least three times with investigators and in her recorded video depositions, Hutchinson disclosed important information about central elements underpinning the investigation into the insurrection at the Capitol.
She told the committee, for example, that it was Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, who introduced and amplified the profile of Jeffrey Clark, a middling environmental attorney at the Department of Justice, to Trump.
Clark, extensive witness testimony and records have revealed, was at the crux of a bid to have the Department of Justice declare there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election where there was none. Witnesses from the DOJ like the former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy Richard Donoghue corroborated this during an explosive hearing last week, laying out in fine detail how Clark threatened to take over the department—and with Trump’s blessing— as the 45th president grasped for power following his defeat to now President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Hutchinson said too that it was Reps. Scott Perry, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Louie Gohmert of Texas, who sought pardons for themselves or others in the wake of the attack.
All of the lawmakers have denied any wrongdoing and Brooks has chalked up his request for a presidential pardon to a preemptive maneuver against “Socialist Democrats” that would take power once Biden was in office.
Her proximity to Meadows and Trump has offered a unique window into the White House.
According to portions of her closed-door deposition that were tucked into court records filed between the committee and Meadows as they duked it out over Meadows’ cooperation, Hutchinson disclosed that Meadows was warned threats of violence were coming to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6. She was unclear, she told investigators, if Meadows took the warning seriously, but as Daily Kos previously reported, she recalled Secret Service Agent Anthony Ornato approaching Meadows with intelligence reports that worried the agency.
What Meadows did with that information was unclear, Hutchinson said, but she did recall Meadow inviting Oranoto into his office privately after the warning.
Hutchinson also testified privately about how she heard Trump openly offer support for rioters on Jan. 6 who bellowed chants of “Hang Mike Pence” as they surrounded the complex and erected gallows on the Capitol lawn.
This detail was first reported by The New York Times in May. According to Hutchinson, she reportedly heard Meadows remark to White House colleagues that Trump was irate over Pence being whisked away by security as the mob attacked. Trump then allegedly said something to the effect of ‘maybe Pence should be hung.’
RELATED STORY: Jan. 6 committee: During Capitol attack, Trump reportedly approved of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ chants
Hutchinson appears Tuesday after a recent change in legal representation. Hutchinson’s current lawyer is Jody Hunt. Hunt, of the D.C. law firm Alston Bird, is a longtime ally to former attorney general Jeff Sessions, even once serving as his chief of staff. She parted ways with her former attorney, Stefan Passantino in early June, according to Politico. Passantino once served as the White House deputy counsel under Trump.