WASHINGTON – Members of the House committee investigating the Capitol attack Jan. 6, 2021, are calling for more Trump administration witnesses to testify, to build on evidence and testimony already collectedincluding bombshell revelations tuesday from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
The latest on the Jan. 6 investigation:
- Cheney again calls on Cipollone to talk: The Jan. 6 committee’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., called at the end of the last two hearings for former White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify because he was in a key position to know how former President Donald Trump prepared for Jan. 6 and how he reacted to the attack.
- Committee chair made plea to potential witnesses: In a closing statement, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told potential witnesses, “if you’ve suddenly remembered things you forgot, or gained some courage… our door is open.”
- What’s next for the committee?: The committee has not scheduled another hearing. Tuesday’s was the sixth in a series on the committee’s findings.
Cassidy Hutchinson’s ‘fuel’ testimony:Surprise Jan. 6 witness, quietly drops bombshells
Ginni Thomas lawyer sees no need for her to testify, despite two Jan. 6 committee requests
Virginia “Ginni” Thomasthe wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, might not testify before the committee after all.
The committee sought her testimony twice, after learning she was exchanging texts with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and emails with former President Donald Trump’s lawyer, John Eastman.
Ginni Thomas told The Daily Caller on June 16 she was eager to testify. But her lawyer, Mark Paoletta, responded Tuesday to the committee’s formal request with an eight-page letter questioning why her testimony was needed at all. He said the emails from her with Eastman, texts with Meadows and a letter she sent to state lawmakers about alleged election fraud provided no basis for an interview.
“As she has already indicated, Mrs. Thomas is eager to clear her name and is willing to appear before the Committee to do so,” Paoletta wrote. “However, based on my understanding of the communications that spurred the Committee’s request, I do not understand the need to speak with Mrs. Thomas.”
– Bart Jansen
Cheney repeated her request for former White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify in a Wednesday morning tweet.
Hutchinson in her testimony described Cipollone warning against allowing Trump to visit the Capitol with the mob of his supporters because he could be charged with “every crime imaginable.”
“It’s time for Mr. Cippollone to testify on the record,” Cheney said in a tweet. “Any concerns he has about the institutional interests of his prior office are outweighed by the need for his testimony from him.”
A breakdown of what happened Tuesday:Jan. 6 takeaways: An angry Trump pushed to go to Capitol, counsel warned of ‘every crime imaginable’
Hutchinson also told the committee the White House deputy chief of staff for operations, Anthony Ornato, described Trump demanding to head toward the Capitol as his security detail drove him back to the White House after his rally Jan. 6, 2021.
Ornato described Trump trying to grab the wheel of the vehicle and lunging for one of his Secret Service agents, according to Hutchinson.
“The president said something to the effect of: ‘I am the f—ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” Hutchinson quoted Ornato as telling her.
NBC reported that Robert Engelthe lead agent assigned to Trump’s vehicle, and the driver were both prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Trump never tried to grab the wheel.
The Secret Service issued a statement saying it “has been cooperating fully with the select committee since it’s inception in spring of 2021 and we will continue to do so including by responding formally and on the record to the committee regarding new allegations that surfaced in today’s testimony .”
Trump’s anger over the election:Trump’s rage over election led to dish-throwing, assaulting Secret Service agent, aide says
Hutchinson lawyer challenges other witnesses to testify
In response to the NBC report, Hutchinson’s lawyer, Jody Hunt, challenged other potential witnesses to testify under oath about the Trump episode in his car.
“Ms. Hutchinson testified, under oath, and recounted what she was told,” Hunt said. “Those with knowledge of the episode should also testify under oath.”
Cipollone stressed on Jan. 3, 2021, and Jan. 6, 2021, that Trump shouldn’t visit the Capitol Because the movement could expose him to criminal charges such as inciting a riot, Hutchinson said.
“We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen,” Hutchinson quoted Cipollone as saying Jan. 6.
“We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen,” Hutchinson quoted Cipollone as telling her Jan. 3. “This would legally be a terrible idea for us. We have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day.”
Who is Cassidy Hutchinson?:Cassidy Hutchinson testifies at Jan. 6 hearing. Who is the former assistant to Mark Meadows?
Police notified White House officials that people near where Trump would be speaking Jan. 6 were armed with AR-15-style rifles and Glock-style pistols.
But Hutchinson said Trump wasn’t worried and he urged security officials to get rid of metal detectors so that a bigger crowd could watch his speech.
“They’re not here to hurt me,” Hutchinson quoted Trump as saying. “Let the people in.”
Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows sought pardons:Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows sought pardons related to Jan. 6 attack, testimony reveals
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism