WASHINGTON- In bombshell testimony to the House Jan. 6 committee Tuesday, former top aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinsonrevealed Meadows and former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani both sought presidential pardons related to the Capitol attack.
Meadows and Giuliani join a growing list of other Republicans who asked for pardons related to Jan. 6 and Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
The list includes five GOP congressmen: Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas. Hutchinson said in deposition video revealed last week that those five members asked about pardons.
Hutchinson’s testimony gave more details about Meadows’ actions leading up to and on the day of Jan. 6, 2021. Meadows told Hutchinson that “things might get real, real bad on January 6,” which she said was the first time she felt afraid of what might happen on Jan. 6, when Congress was set to count electoral votes.
The night before the Capitol attack, Meadows was instructed to call Roger Stone and Michael Flynn “regarding what would play out the next day,” according to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
Stone was later photographed on the Capitol accompanied by members of the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers. Flynn, in a deposition to the committee, exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked whether the violence at the Capitol was justified and whether he believed in the peaceful transfer of power.
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On the day of the Capitol attack, Hutchinson informed Meadows that protesters brought weapons to the Jan. 6. rally, to which Meadows largely ignored her while staring at his phone. When violence erupted at the Capitol, Hutchinson told Meadows, who had little reaction to the news.
“He almost had a lack of reaction,” Hutchinson said. “I remember him saying, ‘All right,’ something to the effect of, ‘How much longer does the president have left in his speech about him?'”
When Hutchinson told Meadows again that rioters were getting closer to the Capitol, he showed little regard while “sitting on his couch on his cellphone.”
Meadows’ position as Trump’s chief of staff prompted Fox News host Laura Ingraham and Donald Trump Jr. to text Meadows imploring him to have Trump condemn the attacks, which Trump was reluctant to do, according to Hutchinson’s testimony.
Besides repeatedly espousing Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud, Giuliani played a key role in organizing Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
In a previous hearing, the committee revealed that Giuliani was an instrumental player in Trump’s pressure campaign against states to overturn the election and send an alternate slate of electors that would have voted for Trump.
In Arizona, Giuliani pushed Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers to hold an official hearing to certify that Trump won the state of Arizona. When repeatedly pressed for evidence from Bowers, Giuliani replied, “We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.”
On Tuesday, Hutchinson gave more details about Giuliani’s actions in the days before the Capitol attack, testifying that Giuliani was aware of potential violence at the Capitol.
In the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, she heard the words “Oath Keeper” and “Proud Boys” in the White House “when Mr. Giuliani would be around.”
Hutchinson also testified about a conversation with Giuliani. She recalled him asking her whether she was “excited for the 6th?” and telling her “it’s going to be a great day.” Curious, Hutchinson asked what was going to happen on Jan. 6.
“We’re going to the Capitol,” Giuliani replied. “It’s going to be great. The president’s going to be there. He’s going to look powerful.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism