Former President Donald Trump tried to call a White House support staffer that has been speaking with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and will have corroborated the damning testimony given by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson last month.
CNN first reported Wednesday that Trump called the support staffer — whose position had not been identified — shortly after Hutchinson, an assistant to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified publicly before the committee. The support staff member didn’t usually communicate with the president while Trump was in office, and so the staffer was concerned in regards to the call, CNN added.
The witness also could have corroborated a part of Hutchinson’s testimony under oath, based on the location’s sources. CNN didn’t note what specific role the person served in.
NBC later reported that it had confirmed CNN’s reporting.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said it was “highly unusual” for Trump to make the decision.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a member of the Jan. 6 panel, revealed earlier this week during a hearing that Trump “tried to call” an unnamed witness, saying the person didn’t pick up the decision but had told their lawyer in regards to the communication.
“Let me say yet another time: We’ll take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously,” Cheney said during Tuesday’s hearing, adding that she had referred the matter to the Department of Justice.
In Hutchinson’s testimony before the House panel, she told lawmakers that Trump knew the gang during his “Stop the Steal” rally preceding the Jan. 6 rebel was heavily armed and that Meadows told her he thought things could get “real, real bad” that day as Trump tried to retain power after losing the 2020 election.
Hutchinson also testified that the then-president tried to grab the wheel of his armored limousine when the Secret Service said they couldn’t take him to the U.S. Capitol for security reasons.
Lawmakers have since said her testimony helped uncover recent information in its probe, expressing confidence in her accounts despite efforts by Trump and his surrogates to discount her role within the White House.