The Jan. 6 committee is holding a hearing Tuesday with Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Mark Meadows aide, as a witness. The committee announced the hearing on Monday “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony” after saying there would be no additional hearings until July.
Given the urgency of the hearing and the significant pieces of information Hutchinson already shared with the Democrat-led committee, expectations are growing that this former top Republican staffer will reveal something explosive when she sits down to testify.
This story will be updated throughout Tuesday’s 1 p.m. hearing. Watch the livestream above and follow live updates below.
- For more about Cassidy Hutchinson and her previous testimonies read here.
- To read takeaways from the last hearing read here.
- To get a closer look at Trump’s pressure on state officials read here.
Update 1:55 p.m. ET:
Cipollone’s warning: Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned Hutchinson on Jan 3. against going to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“He said to me ‘We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen. This would be a legally terrible idea for us’ … he then urged me to continue relaying that to Mr. Meadows,” she told the panel.
On the morning of Jan. 6, Cipollone issued another warning.
” ‘Please make sure we don’t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy …We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen,'” she said, adding that charges discussed in the days leading up to the rally were defrauding the electoral count or obstructing justice.
Cipollone, a key attorney in Trump’s Senate impeachment defense, was among the Trump aides who pushed back against a plan to pressure the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election results, according to a Senate Judiciary Committee report
Update 1:45 p.m. ET:
Trump knew some in crowd on Jan. 6 were armed before urging them to march on the Capitol: In a videotaped testimony, Hutchinson said that when she attended the Jan. 6 rally at the White House ellipse, she overheard a conversation with the president saying he knew people had “many weapons.”
“When we were in the off-stage announce tent, I was part of a conversation … I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘You know, I don’t effing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing [magnetometers] away,'” Hutchinson said during her testimony,
“He said something to the effect of, you know, eff the Secret Service. I’m the president. Take the effing mags away. They’re not here to hurt me,'” she added.
Hutchinson also said the White House counsel’s office was worried about Trump’s plans to march to the Capitol would cause legal issues, and were concerned about lines in Trump’s speech that day, including telling people to march on the Capitol and to “fight.”
Trump was informed people were armed by Tony Ornato, his deputy chief of staff for operations who oversaw all security at the White House, according to Hutchinson. She said that Meadows did not act on the information.
Police radio transmissions played by the Jan. 6th committee revealed that among the thousands of people attending the Stop the Steal rally before the attack on the Capitol, some were armed with AR-15s and glocks, including someone in a tree that Secret Service was aware of who had an AR-15.
Hutchinson testified that she had heard reports of D.C. police arresting people with firearms or ammunition on the night of Jan. 5 at a pro-Trump rally on Freedom Plaza.
Update 1:40 p.m. ET:
Proud Boys and Oath Keepers: Hutchinson previously testified to hearing the words “Proud Boys” and “Oath Keepers” more often on the days leading up to Jan. 6. She testified to intelligence reports that warned of the potential for violence that week.
Some of the reports included listings for events like “Fight for Trump” with descriptions like: “We need to flood the Capitol Building and show America, and the senators and representatives inside voting that we won’t stand for election fraud!”
The White House continued to receive information including about extremist groups like the Proud Boys, who were planning these events for Jan. 6, Hutchinson said.
Capitol Police warned that Proud Boys and other groups were planning to arrive in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 and “unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but Congress itself if the target on the 6th,” according to reports shown by the committee.
Update 1:35 p.m. ET:
Hutchinson’s conversations leading up to Jan. 6: In response to questions from Cheney about a conversation with Rudy Giuliani on Jan. 2, Hutchinson told the panel that was the first night she was scared as planning for the rally continued.
Giuliani, Hutchinson said, told her that on Jan. 6 the president and others would go to the Capitol. Hutchinson asked Meadows about the conversation and asked him about those plans.
“He didn’t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of ‘there’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6,'” she recalled. “In the days before Jan. 2 I was apprehensive about the 6th … when hearing Rudy’s take on the 6th and Mark’s response, that was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous about what could happen.”
In previously recorded video interviews, Hutchinson said that former Trump Director of Intelligence John Ratcliff didn’t believe that the administration should be attempting to overturn the election and disagreed with the White House’s handling of the post-election period.
Update 1:10 p.m. ET:
Opening statement from Vice Chair Liz Cheney: The leading Republican on the Democrat-led panel introduced Cassidy Hutchinson as the principal aide of Meadows who worked in the West wing.
Hutchinson is expected to testify on firsthand observations of Trump and his advisors’ conduct on Jan. 6, and what they knew about the prospect of violence on that day. She will be questioned live and previous testimony will be seen through videos.
Opening statement from Chair Bennie Thompson: Committee Chair D-Miss., Bennie Thompson explains the purpose of the Tuesday’s last-minute hearing, saying:
“The Select Committee has obtained new information dealing with what was going on in the White House on January 6th and in the days prior . . . specific, detailed information about what the former president and his top aides were doing and saying in those critical hours.”
“The truth won’t be buried,” he added.
Update 12:45 p.m. ET:
A meeting before the hearing: Members of the Jan. 6 met in a sensitive compartmented information facility, according to two people familiar with the meeting, a secured House briefing room usually used for dealing with classified information that requires extra protection against leaks and eavesdropping technology.
Original story posted at 8:50 a.m. ET:
Cassidy Hutchinson, the Mark Meadows aide who appeared in videotaped testimony before the Jan. 6 committee last week, is the panel’s surprise witness for Tuesday’s hearing, NPR has confirmed.
The committee announced Monday that it would hold a hearing Tuesday “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”
The hearing announcement was unexpected; the committee was on brief hiatus until the week of July 11.
This will be the sixth hearing for the Democrat-led committee, which has spent the last few weeks building a case around former President Donald Trump and his influence on the Jan. 6 insurrection.