Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Hearing Aides For America, Surprise Edition

After scheduling the next hearing for July, the H=January 6th Committee sprung a surprise hearing today to hear the testimony of former Trump WH administrative staffer Cassidy Hutchinson, assistant to then WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who like any good administrative assistant, knew wehre all the proverbial (and almost very literal) bodies were all buried on January 6th planning.

And yes, as Hutchinson's testimony made very clear, the January 6th insurrection was very much planned by the Trump regime.

Aides to former President Donald Trump were left speechless amid the first half of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony on Tuesday, acknowledging to CNN that her testimony was "a bombshell" with potentially huge repercussions for Trump.

Trump was already bracing for an explosive day of testimony from Hutchinson, who previously told the House select committee that the former President approved of rioters chanting violent threats against Vice President Mike Pence on January 6, 2021.

"This is a bombshell. It's stunning. It's shocking. The story about 'The Beast' -- I don't have words. It's just stunning," said one Trump adviser, referring to the presidential limousine.

"This paints a picture of Trump completely unhinged and completely losing all control which, for his base, they think of him as someone who is in command at all times. This completely flies in the face of that," the adviser added.

The Trump adviser, who was in a group text chat with several other Trump aides and allies as the hearing played out, said that "no one is taking this lightly."

"For the first time since the hearings started, no one is dismissing this," the adviser said.

Another Trump ally told CNN the testimony from Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, would seal Meadows' fate as "persona non grata" to the former President.

"This is one of the reasons [Trump] is furious with Meadows. He was already iced out but now he will be persona non grata," this person said.

The startling revelations from Hutchinson's testimony about Trump's erratic behavior and state of mind on January 6 could make it easier for Republican presidential hopefuls to challenge the former President in a primary should he run, the Trump ally added.

"This is basically a campaign commercial for (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis 2024," said the Trump ally.

It's starting to sink in that Trump may not be the 2024 GOP candidate for the White House because of this.

Minutes before Donald Trump took the stage at an Ellipse rally on Jan. 6, 2021, he urged the Secret Service to remove security magnetometers to let in people with weapons because “they’re not here to hurt me,” a former top White House aide told investigators on Tuesday.

Cassidy Hutchinson also testified to the Jan. 6 select panel that Trump intended to travel with his supporters at the rally to the Capitol, a progression that quickly became a violent mob. She also recalled hearing from two security officials — including Robert Engel, the head of the then-president’s Secret Service detail — that when Trump was told he’d be returning to the White House instead of going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, he lunged for the steering wheel of his vehicle and was physically restrained by Engel.

Hutchinson also said she heard firsthand worries about Trump potentially traveling to the Capitol to disrupt the certification of his loss from Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone. She testified that Cipollone warned against letting Trump travel to the Capitol that day in stark terms: If Trump did so, his White House counsel said, “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable,” from obstruction to fraud.

The former White House aide’s remarks portrayed Trump as spiraling into an increasingly manic rage as he continued his last-ditch effort to seize a second term he didn’t win. Hutchinson offered some of the gravest evidence yet of Trump’s awareness of the violent elements within his base that were ultimately unleashed against Congress — and his indifference to the ultimate result. And her testimony landed hard on the Hill, where some Republican lawmakers immediately pushed back.

Signs of Trump’s fury had been emerging for weeks, Hutchinson said, recalling that Trump once hurled a plate of food at the wall after his Justice Department batted down claims of widespread election fraud.

Hutchinson’s comments came in an explosive public hearing of the Jan. 6 select committee focused on her insights into the machinations by Trump, Meadows and their allies in the runup to Jan. 6. Her knowledge, informed by being present in nearly every meeting involving Meadows during the post-election period, have quickly propelled Hutchinson into a prominent role for Capitol riot investigators.
Trump's own people are saying that he went way beyond any "Nixon in the bunker" moments.  But yes, you'd be forgiven for thinking the big winner here was not America, but Ron DeSantis's 2024 run, looking more and more likely by the day.

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