Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows whose video-taped testimony has been repeatedly cited by the Jan. 6 Committee, is set to testify publicly Tuesday in a surprise committee hearing that was announced only the day before.
The committee’s next hearing was scheduled for weeks away, but the panel said Monday that they would meet the following day to “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”
Who Is Hutchinson?
The top Meadows aide was a special assistant to Trump as the President worked to steal a second term. For Tuesday’s purposes, according to various White House reporters, she was “in the middle of almost everything that happened in the West Wing” and “a crucial witness.”
She’s also quite young: Politico flagged a 2018 interview with her college newspaper in which Hutchinson, then a senior, spoke about working as a White House intern. At that point, she’d interned for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA). Her cooperation with the committee stands in contrast with her former boss, Meadows, who after an initial period of openness has stonewalled the panel.
What We’ve Learned From Her So Far
Hutchinson’s committee testimony popped up in several stories even before the committee began its public hearings: She reportedly heard and later recalled Mark Meadows’ description of Trump’s astoundingly enthusiastic reaction to chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” on Jan. 6.
She also reportedly testified that Meadows set fire to documents in his office after meeting with the Big Lie-supporting congressman Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA). She reportedly testified that Meadows was warned of possible violence ahead of Jan. 6, and that he was deeply involved in the planning effort to steal a second term, including discussions with members of Congress about a plan for Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to certify the election results.
Her testimony has also been repeatedly played back during live committee hearings, including her accounts of efforts by several members of Congress to obtain presidential pardons and the effort to assemble fake slates of Trump electors in several states won by Joe Biden in 2020.
Why Is She A Key Witness?
Former Pence adviser Olivia Troye on Friday recalled Hutchinson being “very dedicated to her role while working for Mark Meadows.” Brendan Buck, who was counselor to House Speaker Paul Ryan for the first half of Trump’s term, tweeted Tuesday that “when Meadows was on the Hill he always insisted that she be in *every* meeting he had, no matter how small.”
The committee kept Hutchinson’s appearance as a witness secret due to concerns about her safety, unnamed sources told The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this month, Hutchinson had changed lawyers, going from plugged-in Trump player Stefan Passantino to Jody Hunt, who previously worked as Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff when Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation while attorney general.