Well, once again Bennie and the boys and girls didn’t disappoint. Todays emergency hearing had at least as many, if not more shocks, bombshells, and damning testimony than we’ve seen in any other.
The star of today’s hearing was Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Mark Meadows. Before that, she served on the staff of Steve Scalise, so this woman is no RINO. And even though she’s only 25 years old, on the stand she came across as as cool, collected, and competent as Professor Fiona Hill.
Hutchinson was a dream witness. Her answers were concise and to the point. She wasn’t afraid to say the words I don’t know. She didn’t guess or speculate, she expanded answers as needed, and even popped the occasional quip. And her testimony was explosive.
Her testimony was one bombshell after another, but what made her such a gamechanger was the fact that she didn’t just confirm previously known information, it was the amount of new, previously undisclosed information she provided. For instance;
- Her office was steps away from the Vice President’s office, next to the Chief of Staff’s office, and 5-10 steps from the door to the oval Office. She was in a dream position to catch all the action
- Although it had been previously reported that Mark Meadows had been in phone conversations with Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon at the War Room at the Willard Hotel, but related that, even against her advice, Meadows went to the Willard on January 5th for a pre coup meeting in person
- On January 5th and 6th, WH Counsel Pat Cipollone and other lawyers went to the speech writers for Trump’s Ellipse speech, begging them to tone down the rhetoric, since the current content put Trump at personal legal jeopardy
- On January 6th, Cipollone went back to Meadows and begged him not to let Trump go to the Capitol, not only for safety reasons, but also for potential legal risk
- On January 6th, the Secret Service advised Trump that there were protesters outside trying to carry weapons onto the Ellipse for Trump’s speech. These weapons included handguns, AR-15’s, flagpoles sharpened to spears, bear spray, and body armor. Trump’s reply was, They’re not here to hurt me, take down the Mags and let them in, I need the largest possible crowd
- While the Capitol riot was underway, multiple aides, as well as Pat Cipollone went to Meadows to beg him to get the President to issue a statement telling the rioters to go home. Meadows barely looked up from his cell phone to say that The Boss doesn’t want to make a statement. Cipollone angrily retorted that he was going to see the President, at which point Meadows finally put his phone away and went with Cipollone to the Oval Office
- When Trump got into his armored car after the speech, he had every intention of going to the Capitol. When his Secret Service head told him they were going back to the West Wing, Trump went ballistic. He screamed, I’M the fucking President! Take me to the Capitol right now! When Engel refused to comply, Trump lunged forward and tried to grab the steering wheel. Engel grabbed his arm and told him to let go of the wheel, at which point Trump lunged for Engel’s neck with the other hand
- Hutchinson walked down the hall from her office, past the open door to the Executive Dining Room, and seeing the White House steward picking up shards of a porcelain plate, with catsup oozing down the wall. The valet advised her to avoid the President, who was highly pissed, and had just thrown his lunch plate against the wall. The ultimate Trumper Tantrum
- In the days following the Capitol riot, it was Trump who broached the subject of giving blanket pardons to the Capitol rioters, and it was Giuliani and Meadows who went to Trump seeking pardons for their pre Capitol riot actions
Let’s just recap, shall we. We know now that far from just communicating remotely, Mark Meadows went to the War Room on the night before the riot for a meeting.
We now know that Trump and his staff were aware that protesters going to his rally were armed, and that Trump told his security detail to let them in, so they could go to the Capitol armed.Trump was desperate to personally go to the Capitol, and like Napoleon lead the charge for his empire. And when he was rebuffed, he lost it to the point where he physically assaulted the head of his security detail.
While members of congress and terrified aides were running for their lives, Trump was so unconcerned that Meadows flatly shut down people begging for presidential intervention by saying that The Boss was uninterested in in making a statement.
But here’s how we know that this was devastating for Trump, and he knows it. There’s an old adage among prosecutors, The louder the defendant and his lawyer scream and insult, the worse the witness nailed them to the wal.
The J6 committee barely went to break when Traitor Tot hit his third world social media platform and started smearing Hutchinson. And by the time the hearing was over, pretty much everybody still connected to Trump was trashing Cassidy Hutchinson on Twitter. That has to tell you something.
And Vice Chair Liz Cheney dealt quite nicely with the reason for the emergency hearing today. She quoted two anonymous cases in which Trump supporters had contacted prospective committee witness to pressure them to hold the Trump line. The warning was clear, the committee knows who they are. They’re not name shaming today, but if they keep fucking around, then they’ll be outed, just like the GOP incumbents looking for pardons. And Witness Tampering is still a federal crime.
Todays hearing was catastrophic for Trump, for two reasons. First, it tied Trump personally even more to not only the Capitol riot, but in the scheming leading up to it. And second, it badly damaged Trump, and anything that damages Trump personally damages Trump in the public damages his projected 2024 run. As Neal Katyal said today on MSNBC, I hope Trump has a great effing defense lawyer! Don’t touch that dial.