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Trump told aides: ‘I do not effing care that they’ve weapons,’ Hutchinson said

Trump supporters stand on the U.S. Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, because the Congress works to certify the electoral college votes.

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Trump desired to take magnetometers away from the doorway to his rally space near the White House so as to let armed supporters in on Jan. 6, 2021, Hutchinson told the committee.

Magnetometers are utilized by the U.S. Secret Service to detect hidden weapons.

Trump was offended that the group appeared smaller than he wanted for his rally on the Ellipse, which began shortly before a joint session of Congress convened on Jan. 6.

He blamed the magnetometers, saying in a tent backstage that he wanted them removed to let more people in. “He was offended that we weren’t letting people through the mags with weapons,” Hutchinson said.

Trump then said words to the effect of, “I do not effing care that they’ve weapons, they don’t seem to be here to harm me, take the effing mags away. Let my people in, they will march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away,” Hutchinson testified.

— Kevin Breuninger

Meadows didn’t look up from phone when briefed him on rioters’ weapons

Protesters gather on the second day of pro-Trump events fueled by President Donald Trump’s continued claims of election fraud in an try and overturn the outcomes before Congress finalizes them in a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Meadows didn’t look up from his phone when Hutchinson and former Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato briefed the chief of staff on the sorts of weapons rioters were carrying through the morning of Jan. 6.

“When Tony and I went in to discuss with Mark that morning, Mark was sitting on his couch on his phone, which was something typical,” Hutchinson said.

Ornato then gave him a “fairly thorough” explanation of the weapons the rioters carried, including knives, AR-15-style assault rifles, bear spray, flagpoles and spears, she continued.

“And I remember distinctly Mark not looking up from his phone,” she said. “I remember Tony ending his explanation and it taking a number of seconds for Mark to say something.”

“I almost said: ‘Mark, did you hear him?'” she added. “After which Mark chimed in and was like, ‘Alright. The rest?'”

— Thomas Franck

Meadows feared ‘things might get real, real bad on January 6,’ his aide says

Then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters within the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2020.

Erin Scott | Reuters

Hutchinson said that Meadows told her 4 days before the riot that “things might get real, real bad on January 6.”

On Jan. 2, 2021, Hutchinson said she walked Trump’s then-lawyer Rudy Giuliani out of the White House. During that walk, Giuliani asked if she was excited for the events of Jan. 6, and told her to discuss with her boss Meadows about it.

“I went back as much as our office and I discovered Mr. Meadows in his office on the couch. He was scrolling through his phone. I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, ‘I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. Appears like we will go to the Capitol,'” Hutchinson said.

“He didn’t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of, ‘There’s loads happening, Cass. But I do not know. Things might get real, real bad on January 6,'” she said.

— Kevin Breuninger

Chairman Thompson, rating member Cheney say Hutchinson’s testimony is invaluable

U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Chairperson Bennie Thompson (D-MS) , Vice Chair U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) listen through the second public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, at Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S. June 13, 2022.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

The Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, and rating member Liz Cheney, a Republican, opened the hearing by noting Hutchinson’s years of labor for among the nation’s top GOP lawmakers, including House Republican Whip Steve Scalise and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Cheney, who represents Wyoming within the House, said Hutchinson’s testimony from her time as a staff to the Trump administration will prove invaluable.

“Today you’ll hear Ms. Hutchinson relate certain firsthand observations of President Trump’s conduct on January sixth,” Cheney said. “You will even hear latest information regarding the actions and statements of Mr. Trump’s senior advisors that day, including his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and his White House counsel.”

— Thomas Franck

Surprise hearing called because Americans have to hear latest info ‘immediately,’ Thompson says

Cassidy Hutchinson, who was an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows through the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives to testify during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to research the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 28, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said that he called Tuesday’s last-minute hearing since the American people should hear latest information obtained by the committee “immediately.”

That latest evidence pertains to “what was happening within the White House on Jan. 6 and in the times prior,” he said in his opening remarks.

It includes “specific, detailed information” about with what Trump and his top aides were doing and saying in those hours.

It’s “essential that the American people hear that information immediately,” Thompson said. “That is why, in consultation why the vice chair, I recalled the committee for today’s hearing.”

— Kevin Breuninger

Panel recaps prior hearing on how Trump pushed DOJ to assist overturn 2020 election

Richard Donoghue, former Acting Deputy Attorney General, testifies before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January sixth Attack on the U.S. Capitol within the Cannon House Office Constructing on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

Ahead of the newest hearing, the committee shared a video recap of its last presentation, which centered on how Trump and his allies pressured Department of Justice leaders to help his efforts to reverse the 2020 election.

“Trump’s pressure campaign spread to each level of presidency. During our last hearing, we showed the American people in regards to the pressure he applied to the Department of Justice,” the committee said in a tweet.

Attached was a three-minute video stitching together snippets from last Thursday’s hearing. Included was a clip displaying a handwritten note from former deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who wrote that Trump pushed him to “just say the election was corrupt” and “leave the remainder to me” and Republican lawmakers. Donoghue called that “a precise quote” from Trump.

In one other clip, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, D-Unwell., said that Trump “wanted the highest Justice Department officials to declare that the election was corrupt, though, as he knew, there was absolutely no evidence to support that statement.”

— Kevin Breuninger

Hutchinson’s ex-boss Meadows has refused to cooperate with the Jan. 6 probe

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is seen on a video screen through the public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 9, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Hutchinson’s former boss, Meadows, for a time had planned to talk with the committee voluntarily. But he reversed course, and in December 2021 and filed a civil lawsuit to invalidate two of the committee’s subpoenas.

The House of Representatives that very same month voted to carry Meadows in contempt of Congress over his refusal to comply with the Jan. 6 probe.

The vote sent a referral to the Department of Justice, which in June decided to not prosecute Meadows.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said they found it “puzzling” for the DOJ to “reward” Meadows and one other former Trump aide, Dan Scavino, ” for his or her continued attack on the rule of law.”

— Kevin Breuninger

Hutchinson alleged multiple GOP lawmakers sought presidential pardons

A video of former special assistant to the president Cassidy Hutchinson is shown on a screen through the fifth hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January sixth Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 23, 2022 within the Cannon House Office Constructing in Washington, DC.

Demetrius Freeman | Getty Images

In videotaped testimony played last Thursday, Hutchinson and other former Trump White House officials said several Republican lawmakers sought presidential pardons.

Hutchinson said that Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Mo Brooks, R-Ala., “each advocated for there to be a blanket pardon” for lawmakers who attended a December 2020 meeting in regards to the election. In addition they asked for pardons for “a handful of other members.”

“Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon and he was doing so since early December,” Hutchinson told the committee.  Gaetz has reportedly been under investigation since last 12 months for multiple potential crimes, including alleged sex trafficking.

Hutchinson said Gaetz asked her about establishing a gathering with then-chief of staff Meadows to debate a possible pardon.

She said that Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Scott Perry, R-Pa., and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, contacted her about presidential pardons, as well.

Hutchinson also said she heard that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., had asked the White House counsel’s office for a pardon.

— Kevin Breuninger

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