Wednesday, June 29, 2022

All The Elements

I think we heard enough evidence yesterday alone from Cassidy Hutchinson to get some folks a set of handcuffs and a perp walk.

Let’s put it this way: The parlor game in identifying who would be the Jan. 6 committee’s John Dean — the insider who devastated the Nixon administration during the Watergate investigations — may finally have an undisputed winner.

Hutchinson, who served as executive assistant to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, provided five stunning revelations about former president Donald Trump’s coup attempt.

1- Meadows and Trump knew there could be violence on Jan. 6 and enabled the mob...
This is the closest we have come to confirming that Trump wanted the armed crowd to march on the Capitol. His attempt to facilitate an armed mob storming the Capitol will be a critical fact in the decision whether to charge him.

When Hutchinson warned Meadows that the mob was getting close to the Capitol, he ignored her — even apparently slamming a car door twice as she tried to speak to him. When she finally did convey the information, she said Meadows had a “lack of reaction.” All Meadows wanted to know was how much longer Trump had left in his speech…

2- Trump’s advisers knew that Trump could be exposed to criminal charges.
Hutchinson testified that Cipollone tried to edit Trump’s “Stop the Steal” speech both for legal reasons and for how it would be perceived. The inflammatory elements remained.

Cipollone also weighed in on Jan. 3 against Trump’s request to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Hutchinson said Cipollone told her, “We need to make sure this doesn’t happen. We have serious legal concerns.” He again pleaded to make sure Trump didn’t go up to the Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6 because, as Hutchinson recalled him saying, “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable.”

3- Trump went ballistic when he was told he couldn’t go to the Capitol.
Trump desperately tried to join the crowd on Jan. 6 as it marched toward the Capitol. When he declared in his speech that he would join them, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called Hutchinson and accused her of lying to him “all week” about the White House’s intentions for him not go to the Capitol. That’s an indication that McCarthy was fully aware of the danger of Trump leading the mob.

Hutchinson also said that when Trump was told in the presidential motorcade that he was not going to the Capitol, he became irate. Others told her that he said, “I’m the effing president. Take me to the Capitol now.” She also heard that Trump had tried to grab the steering wheel and lunged at the Secret Service agent who told him he could not go. Even after returning to the White House, Trump still said he wanted to go the Capitol.

Trump’s violent outburst in the car was not an isolated incident, according to Hutchinson. She said he had thrown his lunch against the wall when then-Attorney General William P. Barr said there was no evidence of voter fraud, and added that Trump had thrown dishes or flipped tablecloths on several occasions.

4- Trump’s ring leaders asked for pardons.
Hutchinson testified that Giuliani and Meadows both requested pardons from Trump after the insurrection. This follows revelations from the committee last week that a number of Republican members of Congress also sought pardons. Any prosecutor would use this as evidence of guilt.

5- Other Trump aides are cowards and dissemblers.
Hutchinson’s appearance before the committee placed a spotlight on the list of Trump aides who have refused to come forward with their eyewitness testimony, including Meadows, Ornato, Cipollone and others. In fact, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the committee, read statements from unnamed witnesses that they had been warned by others to be “loyal” to Trump, suggesting the possibility of witness tampering…

Over to you, Justice Department.