According to a new report from ABC, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson — who worked with then-chief of staff Mark Meadows while on staff in the Trump administration — “has recently cooperated with” the Justice Department probe into January 6.
Hutchinson provided high-profile public testimony at a hastily scheduled public hearing of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, to whom she described key behind-the-scenes moments from the lead-up to January 6 and the day itself. One example of what Hutchinson revealed is that Trump privately pushed for the removal of magnetometers used in the security screening process for his January 6 rally, according to Hutchinson’s account — which some of what Trump himself said that day basically backs up. “The military, the Secret Service. And we want to thank you, and the police law enforcement,” Trump said in his speech that day. “You’re doing a great job. But I’d love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us. Is that possible? Can you just let ’em come up, please?” He was talking about people outside the rally.
Discussing Trump’s concerns about crowd size at the January 6 event, Hutchinson said: “And he felt the [magnetometers] were at fault for not letting everybody in… But when we were in the offstage announce tent… I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the President say something to the effect of, you know, I don’t f’ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take [the] f’ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f’ing mags away.” These details would seem to implicate Trump in knowingly inciting potentially deadly violence in the nation’s capital. She made those comments in previously taped testimony revealed during the public hearing with her.
According to the ABC report, Justice Department personnel got in touch with Hutchinson after her public testimony to the riot committee. “The extent of her cooperation was not immediately clear,” ABC’s initial reporting said, but one could imagine Hutchinson was relatively forthcoming with department investigators. She was clearly prepared to be forthcoming in general — Hutchinson privately testified to the riot committee four times in addition to her public appearance. Key figures didn’t offer any comment on Hutchinson’s interactions with the Justice Department when questioned by ABC — a lawyer for Hutchinson herself didn’t respond, and the department and riot committee declined to comment on the matter. Hutchinson has faced repeated attempts at apparent witness intimidation in the course of post-riot efforts to investigate and uncover exactly what took place.
A message shared at the end of the public hearing with Hutchinson revealed an apparent attempt at intimidation targeting her. During the hearing, committee investigators didn’t confirm who received the message, but later reporting identified the recipient as Hutchinson. “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition,” the message said. The referenced person — whose identity was excluded in the panel’s public presentation of the comments — was apparently Meadows. The referenced deposition, meanwhile, was a private appearance that took place in March of this year. Trump’s repeated public rants against Hutchinson following her testimony could also be reasonably understood as potential attempts at witness intimidation.