Key takeaways from Cassidy Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony to Jan. 6 committee

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(WASHINGTON) — The House Jan. 6 committee’s surprise hearing on Tuesday featured highly-anticipated and explosive testimony from someone who was inside the White House both as the Capitol attack unfolded and in the days before.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top adviser to then-President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, spent some two hours divulging details about what went on behind-the-scenes leading up to, during and after the attack.

Committee members and even some former Trump staffers hailed the 25-year-old for showing the courage to deliver her testimony publicly. Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said members felt it important to offer her “firsthand” accounts “immediately.”

“It hasn’t always been easy to get that information, because the same people who drove the former president’s pressure campaign to overturn the election are now trying to cover up the truth about Jan. 6,” Thompson said. “But thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won’t be buried. The American people won’t be left in the dark.”

With Hutchinson’s testimony, Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., argued that Trump and Meadows were well aware of the potential for violence at the Capitol last year yet ultimately dismissed the warnings. Trump even demanded to be taken to the Capitol alongside his supporters, Hutchinson said, despite concerns of legality and security from his team.

Here are some key takeaways from Hutchinson’s testimony:

Trump’s chief of staff knew Jan. 6 might get ‘real, real bad’

Kicking off her revelatory account before the committee, Hutchinson said that Meadows had warned her on Jan. 2, 2021, that “things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.”

She said Meadows made the remarks to Hutchinson after meeting with Rudy Giuliani, who was at that point a central figure in Trump’s campaign to overturn the election. After the meeting, Giuliani talked enthusiastically to Hutchinson about plans to go to the Capitol, she said.

“It’s going to be great,” Giuliani said to her, Hutchinson said. “The president’s going to be there. He’s going to look powerful.”

When she walked into Meadows’ office to relay what Giuliani told her, she said Meadows responded with the remark about how “bad” the situation may be on Jan. 6.

“That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6,” she told the panel.

Hutchinson testified that Meadows generally knew about the potential for violence on Jan. 6 but failed to act. Both Meadows and Giuliani expressed an interest in seeking pardons over the events of Jan. 6, Hutchinson testified. Giuliani on Tuesday denied asking for a pardon. Meadows has not commented on Hutchinson’s testimony.

White House lawyers worried about criminal charges

Several White House staffers expressed concerns about the legality of what Trump intended to do on Jan. 6, Hutchinson told the committee. Specific crimes they were concerned about, she said, included defrauding the electoral count or obstructing justice.

One point of contention was Trump’s speech at the Ellipse, Hutchinson said. She recalled Trump lawyer Eric Herschmann urging speechwriters to avoid “foolish” language that Trump requested be included, such as the phrases “fight for me” and “we’re going to march to the Capitol.”

On the morning of Jan. 6, Hutchinson said White House counsel Pat Cipollone was adamant that Trump shouldn’t accompany his supporters to the Capitol.

“We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen,” she recalled Cipollone telling her at the time.

Trump knew his supporters were armed

With the committee displaying texts from Jan. 6 as visual aids, Hutchinson recalled how Trump was “furious” with the crowd size of his rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and with advisers who didn’t want to let in individuals who had weapons. Those weapons included pistols, rifles, bear spray and flagpoles with spears attached to them, officials warned, according to Hutchinson.

Trump, she said, wanted the metal detectors to be taken away.

“I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, you know, “I don’t f—— care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f—— mags away. Let my people in,” she recalled. “They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f—— mags away.”

Cheney said Hutchinson’s testimony established that Trump “was aware that a number of individuals in the crowd had weapons and were wearing body armor” when he spoke at the rally and urged them to then march to the Capitol.

She asked Americans to “reflect on that for a moment”

An ‘irate’ Trump grabbed the wheel inside presidential SUV

In one of the hearing’s most shocking moments, Hutchinson recalled hearing how Trump turned “irate” as he was driven away from the Ellipse after being told by his security that he could not go to the Capitol to meet supporters.

Hutchinson was not in the SUV at the time but said she heard the account from Tony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official, when everyone was back at the White House. Also in the room was Bobby Engel, the head of Trump’s security detail, Hutchinson said

“The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now’ — to which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing,'” she continued. “The president reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol.’

“Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge toward Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornato recounted this story to me, he motioned toward his clavicles,” she said.

In a statement later Tuesday, the Secret Service reiterated that it had been cooperating and intended to continue to cooperate with the House committee, “including by responding on the record” to Hutchinson’s testimony.

Two sources familiar confirmed to ABC News that Trump had indeed requested to go to Capitol on Jan. 6 and that the Secret Service refused due to security concerns. One of those sources said that the former president did return to his vehicle after his speech at the Ellipse and asked Engel if he could go to the Capitol, with Engel responding, essentially, that it was unwise.

In another alleged incident of Trump having an outburst, Hutchinson told the committee Tuesday that he threw his lunch at the wall in the White House dining room after learning about then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s interview with the Associated Press in which Barr made it clear the Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread fraud in the election. It wasn’t the first time Trump threw a dish or tablecloth in anger, Hutchinson said.

Meadows wanted to go to the ‘war room’ on Jan. 5

Hutchinson testified that the White House was aware of a “war room” assembled in the Willard Hotel in Washington on the night of Jan. 5.

Hutchinson said Trump asked Meadows to speak by phone with Roger Stone, a longtime Trump aide, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn the day before the rally, and that Meadows asked her to look into setting up Secret Service for him to go to the nerve center of the “Stop the Steal” movement that night.

She said she expressed to Meadows she didn’t think was a “smart idea” or “something appropriate for the White House chief of staff to attend or be involved in,” coming days after she overheard Guiliani mentioning “Oath Keepers” and “Proud Boys,” she testified earlier.

Eventually, Meadows dropped the request and said he would dial into a meeting, Hutchinson recalled.

Stone, for his part, said through his attorney that he and Meadows did not talk. “Unequivocally stated, Mr. Stone did not speak to or otherwise communicate with Mr. Meadows on January 5th or 6th. Additionally, Mr. Stone did not receive a call from Mr. Meadows on either day,” Grant Smith exclusively told ABC News.

Flynn, who Trump pardoned in December 2020 for lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador, previously appeared before the committee and repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

In a clip played by the committee, Cheney asked Flynn if he “believed in the peaceful transition of power.”

“The Fifth,” Flynn replied.

ABC News’ Luke Barr, Ali Dukakis, Katherine Faulders, Ben Siegel and Pierre Thomas contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Money, MAGA and Democratic meddling take center stage in Tuesday’s primaries

Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

(WASHINGTON) — As Tuesday’s primaries get underway, the influence of big money, the “big lie” and some Democratic groups have meddled in some of the races.

Primaries in several states, including Colorado, Illinois and New York, will also be held against the backdrop of the latest — surprise — Jan. 6 hearing in the House.

Republican candidates remain divided on Donald Trump’s evidence-free election denialism across Colorado’s congressional and statewide GOP nominating contests, which are further complicated by Democratic efforts to boost the seemingly more right-wing candidates — assuming those choices would then backfire in the general election.

Two GOP politicians are on the ballot in the Republican Senate primary hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet. Businessman Joe O’Dea, the moderate in the race, has focused his campaign on public safety and economic reform.

In stark contrast, Ron Hanks has centered his campaign around the “big lie,” baselessly disputing the last presidential race. Hanks attended Trump’s infamous Jan. 6 rally in Washington ahead of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.

In this GOP Senate primary, some Democrats have directed their money toward supporting Hanks, the election denier in the race. Democratic Colorado, a super PAC, has run ads highlighting Hanks’ conservative values; and ProgressNow Colorado has simultaneously campaigned against O’Dea. Their thinking — as yet unproven — is that Hanks will ultimately be less appealing to much of the electorate even if the conservative base embraces him.

Meanwhile four Republican candidates are vying for the nomination in Colorado’s newly minted 8th Congressional District. Whoever wins will face off against Democratic Nominee Rep. Yadira Caraveo. This highly competitive election could help decide who controls Congress in 2022, where Democrats hope to preserve their fragile majority.

The candidates in that race include state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann, Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine and political newcomer Tyler Allcorn.

While there is no front-runner in this four-way primary, Lori Saine, the most conservative candidate on the ballot, may likely prove the easiest for Democrats to beat, given past trends.

The House Majority PAC has run ads featuring Saine. Though the ad does not deliberately promote her, it characterizes her as a “conservative warrior” with strong popular Republican stances. A political action committee backing Democratic candidates has also run ads against Saine’s opponent Kirkmeyer.

For the governor’s race, two candidates are facing off in Colorado’s Republican primary to unseat Democratic incumbent Jared Polis: Heidi Ganahl, the establishment favorite, and Greg Lopez, an outspoken election denier who has emphasized that, if elected, he would pardon Tina Peters, an accused election worker there. (She has said she is innocent.)

The Democratic Governors Association sponsored ads raising Lopez’s profile, emphasizing his staunch conservative stances on issues like abortion access and gay marriage.

Against the backdrop of Trump’s election lies, Democrats play a risky game — potentially advancing election deniers further in the race for elected office.

In New York, the Democratic primary for governor features a three-way race between a favored incumbent who has yet to serve a full term and two challengers on her left and right.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is considered a front-runner after she stepped into the position (and became New York’s first female governor) in 2021, following Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.

Her two primary opponents are Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Four candidates are fighting for the nomination in the New York GOP gubernatorial primary: Rep Lee Zeldin, Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani (son of Rudy Giuliani) and Harry Wilson.

Zeldin was first elected to the House in 2014 after serving in the state Senate; he is a member of the House Financial Services and House Foreign Affairs committees. Zeldin also voted in 2021 to sustain objections to certifying the 2020 election results even after the Jan. 6 attack.

The younger Giuliani’s dad is a former New York City mayor and adviser and attorney for former President Trump. Andrew Guiliani recently had to join a gubernatorial debate from a separate studio, instead of appearing alongside the other candidates, because he refused to provide proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Astorino is a consultant and former county executive of Westchester County while Wilson is a businessman who emphasizes his working-class roots. Notably, Wilson supports abortion rights, according to Politico, which could appeal to liberal-leaning voters in a general election in light of the reenergized national conversation around abortion after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.

In Illinois, the governor’s race is becoming a heated battle between billionaires as candidates enter the last leg of the primary.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker — whose family controls the Hyatt Hotel enterprise — is running for reelection. A billionaire in his own right, Pritzker is expected to succeed in his party’s primary.

Two Republicans are fighting for the chance to go head-to-head with Pritzker in the general election.

Richard Irvin was the first Black mayor of one of Chicago’s largest suburbs, Aurora. Irvin and his campaign have heavily focused on crime and taxes, while the former mayor has avoided mentioning other pressing issues such as abortion.

Pritzker’s nemesis — Billionaire Ken Griffin of Citadel, a hedge fund and financial services company — has helped fund Irvin’s campaign: According to the Illinois State Board of Elections website, Griffin has donated $50 million. Griffin also poured millions in 2018 against Pritzker during his first run for governor of Illinois.

Pritzker and the DGA have spent millions trying to ensure that Irvin is not the GOP nominee in the race.

Another candidate is Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey, who received an endorsement from Trump on Saturday during the former president’s rally in Illinois.

Bailey fought against COVID-19 restrictions, is against abortion access and is an avid supporter of the Second Amendment and Trump.

Bailey has also garnered support from billionaire Richard Uihlein — a mega GOP donor who has thrown millions behind Bailey’s run for governor. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections website, Uihlein has donated $9 million to Bailey’s campaign.

The Illinois primary will also display some of the most heated battles involving incumbent candidates drawn into the same congressional district.

GOP Reps. Mary Miller and Rodney Davis will face off against each other in Tuesday’s primary.

Davis voted to certify the 2020 election and supported a proposal for a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission. On the other hand, Miller voted against certifying the 2020 election results.

Trump endorsed Miller in the race earlier this year and held a rally for her last weekend where Miller spoke on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, saying that it was a “historic victory for white life.”

“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday,” Miller said.

A spokesperson for Miller told the Associated Press the line was a “mix up of words.”

Davis tweeted to criticize Miller, saying her initial comments were part of a “disturbing pattern of behavior she’s displayed since coming to Congress.”

In January 2021, Miller had quoted Adolf Hitler during a rally in Washington. She said then: “Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.'”

Davis has also outraised Miller, $3.4 million to $1.4 million. In addition, the Club For Growth has supported Miller during her reelection.

Over in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, incumbent Reps. Marie Newman and Sean Casten will face off against one another.

As a member of the progressive caucus, Newman is facing an ethics probe into whether or not she bribed someone into not running for office. She has denied wrongdoing.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

As Trump rails at Cassidy Hutchinson’s Jan. 6 testimony, other aides vouch for her

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 (WASHINGTON) — Startling testimony on Tuesday from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson before the House committee investigating Jan. 6 drew shock from Donald Trump’s orbit as well as support for Hutchinson’s character — and a rebuke from the former president himself.

Hutchinson, who worked as a top aide to Mark Meadows, Trump’s last chief of staff, was the only witness at a surprise hearing on Tuesday. She testified for nearly two hours about Trump’s frame of mind surrounding the 2020 election he lost as well as the events before, during and after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.

Speaking before the House committee under oath, Hutchinson recalled how she had been told that Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent on Jan. 6 when he was told he could not go to the Capitol with a supportive mob after his speech at the Ellipse near the White House. She also testified that, in a separate incident, Trump threw his lunch at the wall after then-Attorney General Bill Barr gave an interview saying there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election — and it wasn’t the only instance of Trump breaking plates or tossing tables over, she said.

Hutchinson told the panel that Trump wanted to ease security for his Jan. 6 speech despite being told that people looking to attend the rally were armed. “They’re not here to hurt me,” Trump said, according to Hutchinson, who testified that he went on to downplay accounts that the mob at the Capitol called for then-Vice President Mike Pence to be hung.

Tuesday’s hearing was capped off with warnings from Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a Trump critic and vice chair of the committee, warning that some witnesses had been intimidated by the former president’s allies.

But it was Hutchinson’s testimony that drew the strongest reaction, with the former president trying to dismiss her as a lowly and disingenuous staffer whom he did not know. Others who worked in the White House with Hutchinson and Trump, however, publicly defended her.

Trump wrote on Truth, his social media site, that he had “heard very negative things” about Hutchinson during her time in his administration and called her a “phony” and a “leaker.”

But aides and former members of Trump’s administration expressed surprise at her testimony, saying it could be further damaging to the twice-impeached former president.

“This is bad,” one aide still close to Trump told ABC News.

Mick Mulvaney, Meadows’s predecessor as chief of staff, echoed that.

“This is explosive stuff. If Cassidy is making this up, they will need to say that. If she isn’t they will have to corroborate. I know her. I don’t think she is lying,” he tweeted.

“That is a very, very bad day for Trump,” Mulvaney added once the hearing finished.

And while Hutchinson’s testimony sparked claims online of lying or hearsay among Trump loyalists — and the Republican Party’s official social media accounts — those who worked in the White House alongside her vouched for her values and her background.

“Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is,” tweeted former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews, who resigned after Jan. 6. “For those complaining of ‘hearsay,’ I imagine the Jan. 6 committee would welcome any of those involved to deny these allegations under oath.”

Tuesday was the latest in a series of public hearings the House committee plans to hold through at least July, focusing on such topics as Trump’s pressure on the Department of Justice to overturn the 2020 election results and the violent events of the insurrection itself.

The panel’s work come as Trump openly teases a third presidential run, in 2024. While polling shows the public broadly disapproves of Trump’s conduct related to Jan. 6, surveys also show him as the front-runner among the conservative base in a potential 2024 GOP primary field.

ABC News’ Ben Siegel contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jan. 6 hearing witness: Irate Trump grabbed wheel, demanded to go to Capitol

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The House select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol attack heard stunning stunning testimony on Tuesday from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

She told the committee and an international TV audience that then-President Donald Trump was warned about potential violence and crimes, that he wanted supporters with weapons let into his Jan. 6 rally, and that he then demanded his security detail take him to the Capitol, going so far as to grab the wheel of the presidential limousine, “The Beast.”

This was the sixth hearing this month investigating what the committee says was the conspiracy by Trump and his allies to overturn the election.

Please check back for updates. All times Eastern.

Jun 28, 3:18 pm
Cheney raises concerns about witness intimidation, Thompson encourages others to come forward

Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the committee, raised concerns of witness intimidation in her closing remarks.

The committee showed on a large screen above the members a text message that read: “[A person] let me know your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

“I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said in her closing remarks, adding that the panel will be discussing the issue and considering next steps.

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., commended Hutchinson for “doing your patriotic duty and helping the American people get a complete understanding of January 6th and its causes.”

Thompson also encouraged others to come forward.

“If you’ve heard if you’ve heard this testimony today and suddenly you remember things you couldn’t previously recall, or or there are some details you’d like to clarify, or you discovered some courage you had hidden away somewhere, our doors remain open,” he said

Jun 28, 3:18 pm
Extraordinary hearing closes

It was among the shortest but most shocking Jan. 6 public hearings so far.

Cassidy Hutchinson, for nearly two-hours Tuesday, testified that Trump and Meadows were aware the Capitol was a target and that Trump supporters at the “Save America” rally were armed with weapons when the president told urged them to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

She said Trump told aides to let individuals with weapons past security and into the crowd, which he was “furious” with due to its size, with Hutchinson recalling Trump saying, “‘I don’t care that they have weapons. They are not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags (magnetometers) away.'”

Trump wanted to go to the Capitol himself after his speech, she said, and there was even conversation about having him go into the House chamber, despite the White House counsel’s office raising serious legal concerns and the Secret Service raising safety concerns.

Still, demanding to go to the Capitol, Hutchinson recalled learning that Trump grabbed the steering wheel in “The Beast: — the president’s limousine — on the way back to the White House and said, “‘I’m the f—ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now!'” before lunging at a Secret Service agent.

Hutchinson also confirmed Trump instructed Meadows to make contact with a “war room” in the Willard Hotel on the evening of Jan. 5 and advised Meadows against going in person after hearing Rudy Giuliani’s plans for the day, which she said she overheard included “Oath Keepers” and “Proud Boys.”

In a statement to ABC News, Roger Stone said it was “FALSE” that he spoke to Meadows on the phone on Jan. 5 “or any other date.”

Jun 28, 2:48 pm
Witness: Trump didn’t want to respond as attack on Capitol unfolded

In videotaped testimony, Hutchinson recalled seeing Meadows in his office at the White House, flipping through his phone as Trump supporters marched to the Capitol, and then violently breaching it.

“I said, ‘The rioters are getting really close. Have you talked to the president?'” she recalled. “Meadows said, ‘No. He wants to be alone right now.'”

“I felt like I was watching,” she continued in taped testimony, “a bad car accident that was about to happen. You can’t stop it but you want to do something. I remember thinking in that moment that Mark needs to snap out of this.”

She recalled White House counsel Pat Cipollone “barreling” towards Meadows’s office, and saying something to the effect of, “”Mark, something needs to be done, or people are going to die and blood is going to be on your effing hands.'”

She later overheard Cipollone and Meadows talking about the “Hang Mike Pence” chants at the Capitol.

“You heard it Pat — he thinks Mike deserves it. He thinks they aren’t doing anything wrong,” Meadows said to Cipollone when the White House lawyer said they needed to respond, according to Hutchinson.

-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel

Jun 28, 2:45 pm
Witness ‘disgusted’ by Trump’s attack on Pence

Cassidy Hutchinson said she was “disgusted” by President Trump’s Twitter post during the Capitol attack disparaging then-Vice President Mike Pence for not single-handedly rejecting Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump tweeted.

Hutchinson recalled “feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really — it felt personal. I was really saddened. As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American.”

Matthew Pottinger, who was then serving as the deputy national security adviser, told the committee in previous testimony, it said, that he decided to quit because of what Trump said in that social media post.

“I read that tweet, and made a decision at that moment to resign,” Pottinger said. “That’s where I knew that I was leaving that day, once I read that tweet.”

Jun 28, 2:07 pm
Witness: Trump ‘irate’ in Beast, physically assaulted security detail, demanded to be taken to Capitol

Cassidy Hutchinson recalled a shocking story of Trump’s anger on Jan. 6 after being told he could not go to the Capitol to meet supporters following his “Save America” rally on the Ellipse — leading to Trump physically assaulting his security detail on the way back to the White House.

Hutchinson recalled the conversation she had back at the White House just after the rally with Bobby Engel, part of Trump’s security detail, who was “sitting in the chair, looking somewhat discombobulated,” and Tony Ornato.

“As the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought they were going out of the Capitol and when Bobby had relayed to him were not, ‘You don’t have the access to do it, is not secure, we’re going back to the West Wing.’ The president had a very strong, very angry response to that,” she recalled.

“Tony described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now’ — to which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.’ The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol.'”

“Mr. Trump used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornado recounted the story to me, he motions towards his clavicle,” she said.

Jun 28, 1:57 pm
Cippollone warned about criminal charges if Trump marched to Capitol

Hutchinson testified about the concerns some White House staff had about President Trump wanting to go to the Capitol with his supporters on Jan. 6. At one point that morning, Hutchinson said, then-White House counsel Pat Cippollone told her to make sure that it didn’t happen.

“We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we go up to the Capitol,” Hutchinson said Cippollone told her.

Crimes they were concerned about, she said, included defrauding the electoral count and obstructing justice.

The White House legal team was also concerned about aspects of Trump’s remarks at the Ellipse, Hutchinson testified, and urged speechwriters not to include language about marching to the Capitol.

Jun 28, 1:56 pm
WH lawyer warned speechwriters of rhetoric ahead of Ellipse speech

Hutchinson said there were “many discussions” the morning of Jan. 6 about the rhetoric Trump would use at the speech that ultimately preceded the riot.

Hutchinson testified that Eric Herschmann, a lawyer for Trump, said it would be “foolish to include language that had been included at the president’s request, which had lines along, to the effect of ‘fight for Trump, we’re going to march to the Capitol, I’ll be there with you, fight for me, fight for what we’re doing, fight for the movement,’ things about the vice president at the time too.”

“Both Mr. Herschmann and White House counsel’s office were urging the speechwriters to not include that language for legal concerns and also for the optics of what it could portray the president wanting to do that day,” Hutchinson said.

Trump at his speech ultimately said, “So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” to give “weak” Republicans the “pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

Jun 28, 1:51 pm
Trump ‘furious’ people with weapons couldn’t get into Jan.6 Ellipse rally: ‘They are not here to hurt me’

Cassidy Hutchinson recalled how Trump was “furious” with the crowd size of his “Save America” rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and with aides who didn’t want to let in individuals in who had weapons, which officials said ranged from AR-15-style rifles to bear spray.

“I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I heard the president say, “‘I don’t care that they have weapons. They are not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in,'” she recalled. “‘They can march to the Capitol after the rally is over.'”

Vice chair Liz Cheney asked Americans to “reflect on that for a moment” and remember what Trump called on the crowd to do, knowing they were equipped with weapons and body armor.

Jun 28, 1:45 pm
Hutchinson says Meadows didn’t act on concerns of violence

Hutchinson described Meadows’ underwhelming reaction to learning about the list of weapons that people had in the rally crowd that morning — including knives, bear spray, guns and flagpoles with spears attached to them.

“I remember distinctly Mark not looking up from his phone,” Hutchinson said, noting it took Meadows a few moments to respond. When he did respond, he asked [security officials], “Alright, anything else?”

In previously taped deposition, Hutchinson told the committee it was accurate to say Meadows “did not act” on concerns of violence.

Jun 28, 1:36 pm
White House was warned ‘Congress itself is the target on the 6th’

The bombshell information the committee is unfolding through Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is that the Trump administration and Trump himself knew about the potential for violence before Jan. 6.

“I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a taped deposition played by Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney.

Cheney then displayed a Capitol Police bulletin on Jan. 3 warning, “targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th.”

Hutchinson also recalled receiving a call from then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien, after the Capitol Police bulletin, asking if he could speak with Meadows about the potential violence. She wasn’t sure if that call ever happened.

Jun 28, 1:29 pm
Meadows told Hutchinson ‘things might get real, real bad’ on Jan. 6

Hutchinson described Tuesday conversations she had with Rudy Giuliani and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 2, 2021 — four days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Hutchinson said Giuliani said to her something “to the effect of ‘We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president’s going to be there. He’s going to look powerful.'”

When Hutchinson went to Meadows’ office to relay her discussion with Giuliani, Meadows told her: “There is a lot going on, Cass, I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.”

“That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6,” Hutchinson testified. “I had a deeper concern with what was happening with the planning aspects.”

Jun 28, 1:20 pm
Committee establishes Hutchinson’s proximity to Trump

Introducing Hutchinson to the American people, Chairman Bennie Thompson asked Hutchinson to recall a typical day at the White House.

“When I moved over to the White House chief of staff’s office with Mr. Meadows, when he became the fourth chief of staff, it’s difficult to describe a typical day,” she said.

Thompson established through a series of questions how Hutchinson’s office was a five to 10-second walk from the Oval Office and that she regularly engaged with members of Congress and senior members of the Trump administration.

Jun 28, 1:17 pm
Cheney: Hutchinson will relay firsthand observations of Trump’s conduct

Vice chair Liz Cheney said Cassidy Hutchinson was in a “position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House.”

“Today, you will hear Ms. Hutchinson relate certain first-hand observations about President Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6,” Cheney said in her opening statement. “You will also hear new information regarding the actions and statements of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers that day, including his chief of staff Mark Meadows, and his White House counsel.”

Cheney said information will also be released on what Trump and members of the White House knew about the potential for violence on Jan. 6.

Jun 28, 1:13 pm
Chair applauds Hutchinson’s ‘courage’ to open hearing

Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., convened the unexpected hearing shortly after 1 p.m. with Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, taking her seat as members took the dais.

In brief opening remarks, he explained information that she had needed to be shared with the American people “immediately” and hailed her courage.

“In recent days, the select committee has obtained new information, dealing with what was going on in the White House on Jan. 6, 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. Firsthand details of what transpired in the Office of the White House chief of staff,” Thompson said.

“It hasn’t always been easy to get that information, because the same people who drove the former president’s pressure campaign to overturn the election are now trying to cover up the truth about January 6. But thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won’t be buried. The American people won’t be left in the dark,” he added. “Our witness today is Cassidy Hutchinson, she has embodied that courage.”

Jun 28, 1:08 pm
Cameras flash at high drama hearing

With the nature of the hearing coming up with little notice, signaling urgency for the committee, reporters and cameras swarmed the witness table inside the Cannon Office Building ahead of Cassidy Hutchinson taking her seat.

Hutchinson entered the hearing room at 1 p.m. with members of the Jan. 6 committee.

ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl said sources have told him the hearing will be “Big —and disturbing.”

Jun 28, 1:00 pm
Former WH deputy press secretary shows support for Hutchinson

Former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews showed support for Cassidy Hutchinson ahead of her scheduled testimony.

“Just want to say how much admiration I have for the tremendous bravery Cassidy Hutchinson is displaying,” Matthews wrote on Twitter. “Even in the face of harassment and threats, she is choosing to put her country first and tell the truth.”

“This is what real courage, integrity, and patriotism looks like,” Matthews added.

Matthews resigned from her position in the Trump administration on Jan. 6 , stating she was “deeply disturbed” by what took place that day.

Jun 28, 12:59 pm
Witness switched attorneys as public hearings began

Cassidy Hutchinson hired a new attorney, Jody Hunt, earlier this month to represent her as the public Jan. 6 hearings began. Her agreement to testify publicly comes after months of negotiations between the committee and her counsel, sources told ABC News.

At the start of the Trump administration, Hunt served as chief of staff to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He later became the head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

Jun 28, 12:23 pm
Who is Cassidy Hutchinson?

The committee’s expected witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, is a former top adviser to Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

A 2019 political science graduate of Virginia’s Christopher Newport University, Hutchinson was as an intern to House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in college before serving as a White House intern in 2018. After graduating, she joined the Trump White House Office of Legislative Affairs, before joining Meadows as an executive assistant, and later a special assistant to the president.

“I have set a personal goal to pursue a path of civic significance,” she told her alma mater in a 2018 interview after her White House internship.

Having already sat four separate times for closed-door depositions with the committee, Hutchinson has been featured in clips publicly displayed by the committee, including some in which she discussed members of Congress asking the White House for pardons.

Jun 28, 9:57 am
Surprise hearing signals committee’s urgency

The House select committee will convene Tuesday afternoon for a surprise public hearing, signaling apparent urgency among members to reveal further findings from their year-long inquiry.

The hearing, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, will see the committee “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony,” the group said in a news release Monday.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top adviser to Donald Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is expected to testify, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. Punchbowl News first reported her appearance.

Hutchinson is expected to put a voice to many of the internal White House interactions involving the events of Jan. 6 and offer significant insight into Meadows’ actions and interactions with Trump.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jan. 6 hearing live updates: Witness: Irate Trump grabbed steering wheel, demanded to go to Capitol

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack is holding a surprise hearing Tuesday after saying it wouldn’t be holding more until the middle of July.

The committee said the focus would be on “recently obtained evidence.”

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is testifying, sources said.

This is the sixth hearing this month on the attack on the U.S. Capitol and what the committee says was the plot by then-President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election.

Please check back for updates. All times Eastern.

Jun 28, 2:07 pm
Witness: Trump ‘irate’ in Beast, physically assaulted security detail, demanded to be taken to Capitol

Cassidy Hutchinson recalled a shocking story of Trump’s anger on Jan. 6 after being told he could not go to the Capitol to meet supporters following his “Save America” rally on the Ellipse — leading to Trump physically assaulting his security detail on the way back to the White House.

Hutchinson recalled the conversation she had back at the White House just after the rally with Bobby Engel, part of Trump’s security detail, who was “sitting in the chair, looking somewhat discombobulated,” and Tony Ornato.

“As the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought they were going out of the Capitol and when Bobby had relayed to him were not, ‘You don’t have the access to do it, is not secure, we’re going back to the West Wing.’ The president had a very strong, very angry response to that,” she recalled.

“Tony described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now’ — to which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.’ The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol.'”

“Mr. Trump used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornado recounted the story to me, he motions towards his clavicle,” she said.

Jun 28, 1:57 pm
Cippollone warned about criminal charges if Trump marched to Capitol

Hutchinson testified about the concerns some White House staff had about President Trump wanting to go to the Capitol with his supporters on Jan. 6. At one point that morning, Hutchinson said, then-White House counsel Pat Cippollone told her to make sure that it didn’t happen.

“We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we go up to the Capitol,” Hutchinson said Cippollone told her.

Crimes they were concerned about, she said, included defrauding the electoral count and obstructing justice.

The White House legal team was also concerned about aspects of Trump’s remarks at the Ellipse, Hutchinson testified, and urged speechwriters not to include language about marching to the Capitol.

Jun 28, 1:56 pm
WH lawyer warned speechwriters of rhetoric ahead of Ellipse speech

Hutchinson said there were “many discussions” the morning of Jan. 6 about the rhetoric Trump would use at the speech that ultimately preceded the riot.

Hutchinson testified that Eric Herschmann, a lawyer for Trump, said it would be “foolish to include language that had been included at the president’s request, which had lines along, to the effect of ‘fight for Trump, we’re going to march to the Capitol, I’ll be there with you, fight for me, fight for what we’re doing, fight for the movement,’ things about the vice president at the time too.”

“Both Mr. Herschmann and White House counsel’s office were urging the speechwriters to not include that language for legal concerns and also for the optics of what it could portray the president wanting to do that day,” Hutchinson said.

Trump at his speech ultimately said, “So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” to give “weak” Republicans the “pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

Jun 28, 1:51 pm
Trump ‘furious’ people with weapons couldn’t get into Jan.6 Ellipse rally: ‘They are not here to hurt me’

Cassidy Hutchinson recalled how Trump was “furious” with the crowd size of his “Save America” rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and with aides who didn’t want to let in individuals in who had weapons, which officials said ranged from AR-15-style rifles to bear spray.

“I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I heard the president say, “‘I don’t care that they have weapons. They are not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in,'” she recalled. “‘They can march to the Capitol after the rally is over.'”

Vice chair Liz Cheney asked Americans to “reflect on that for a moment” and remember what Trump called on the crowd to do, knowing they were equipped with weapons and body armor.

Jun 28, 1:45 pm
Hutchinson says Meadows didn’t act on concerns of violence

Hutchinson described Meadows’ underwhelming reaction to learning about the list of weapons that people had in the rally crowd that morning — including knives, bear spray, guns and flagpoles with spears attached to them.

“I remember distinctly Mark not looking up from his phone,” Hutchinson said, noting it took Meadows a few moments to respond. When he did respond, he asked [security officials], “Alright, anything else?”

In previously taped deposition, Hutchinson told the committee it was accurate to say Meadows “did not act” on concerns of violence.

Jun 28, 1:36 pm
White House was warned ‘Congress itself is the target on the 6th’

The bombshell information the committee is unfolding through Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is that the Trump administration and Trump himself knew about the potential for violence before Jan. 6.

“I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a taped deposition played by Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney.

Cheney then displayed a Capitol Police bulletin on Jan. 3 warning, “targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th.”

Hutchinson also recalled receiving a call from then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien, after the Capitol Police bulletin, asking if he could speak with Meadows about the potential violence. She wasn’t sure if that call ever happened.

Jun 28, 1:29 pm
Meadows told Hutchinson ‘things might get real, real bad’ on Jan. 6

Hutchinson described Tuesday conversations she had with Rudy Giuliani and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 2, 2021 — four days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Hutchinson said Giuliani said to her something “to the effect of ‘We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president’s going to be there. He’s going to look powerful.'”

When Hutchinson went to Meadows’ office to relay her discussion with Giuliani, Meadows told her: “There is a lot going on, Cass, I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.”

“That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6,” Hutchinson testified. “I had a deeper concern with what was happening with the planning aspects.”

Jun 28, 1:20 pm
Committee establishes Hutchinson’s proximity to Trump

Introducing Hutchinson to the American people, Chairman Bennie Thompson asked Hutchinson to recall a typical day at the White House.

“When I moved over to the White House chief of staff’s office with Mr. Meadows, when he became the fourth chief of staff, it’s difficult to describe a typical day,” she said.

Thompson established through a series of questions how Hutchinson’s office was a five to 10-second walk from the Oval Office and that she regularly engaged with members of Congress and senior members of the Trump administration.

Jun 28, 1:17 pm
Cheney: Hutchinson will relay firsthand observations of Trump’s conduct

Vice chair Liz Cheney said Cassidy Hutchinson was in a “position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House.”

“Today, you will hear Ms. Hutchinson relate certain first-hand observations about President Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6,” Cheney said in her opening statement. “You will also hear new information regarding the actions and statements of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers that day, including his chief of staff Mark Meadows, and his White House counsel.”

Cheney said information will also be released on what Trump and members of the White House knew about the potential for violence on Jan. 6.

Jun 28, 1:13 pm
Chair applauds Hutchinson’s ‘courage’ to open hearing

Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., convened the unexpected hearing shortly after 1 p.m. with Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, taking her seat as members took the dais.

In brief opening remarks, he explained information that she had needed to be shared with the American people “immediately” and hailed her courage.

“In recent days, the select committee has obtained new information, dealing with what was going on in the White House on Jan. 6, 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. Firsthand details of what transpired in the Office of the White House chief of staff,” Thompson said.

“It hasn’t always been easy to get that information, because the same people who drove the former president’s pressure campaign to overturn the election are now trying to cover up the truth about January 6. But thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won’t be buried. The American people won’t be left in the dark,” he added. “Our witness today is Cassidy Hutchinson, she has embodied that courage.”

Jun 28, 1:08 pm
Cameras flash at high drama hearing

With the nature of the hearing coming up with little notice, signaling urgency for the committee, reporters and cameras swarmed the witness table inside the Cannon Office Building ahead of Cassidy Hutchinson taking her seat.

Hutchinson entered the hearing room at 1 p.m. with members of the Jan. 6 committee.

ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl said sources have told him the hearing will be “Big —and disturbing.”

Jun 28, 1:00 pm
Former WH deputy press secretary shows support for Hutchinson

Former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews showed support for Cassidy Hutchinson ahead of her scheduled testimony.

“Just want to say how much admiration I have for the tremendous bravery Cassidy Hutchinson is displaying,” Matthews wrote on Twitter. “Even in the face of harassment and threats, she is choosing to put her country first and tell the truth.”

“This is what real courage, integrity, and patriotism looks like,” Matthews added.

Matthews resigned from her position in the Trump administration on Jan. 6 , stating she was “deeply disturbed” by what took place that day.

Jun 28, 12:59 pm
Witness switched attorneys as public hearings began

Cassidy Hutchinson hired a new attorney, Jody Hunt, earlier this month to represent her as the public Jan. 6 hearings began. Her agreement to testify publicly comes after months of negotiations between the committee and her counsel, sources told ABC News.

At the start of the Trump administration, Hunt served as chief of staff to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He later became the head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

Jun 28, 12:23 pm
Who is Cassidy Hutchinson?

The committee’s expected witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, is a former top adviser to Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

A 2019 political science graduate of Virginia’s Christopher Newport University, Hutchinson was as an intern to House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in college before serving as a White House intern in 2018. After graduating, she joined the Trump White House Office of Legislative Affairs, before joining Meadows as an executive assistant, and later a special assistant to the president.

“I have set a personal goal to pursue a path of civic significance,” she told her alma mater in a 2018 interview after her White House internship.

Having already sat four separate times for closed-door depositions with the committee, Hutchinson has been featured in clips publicly displayed by the committee, including some in which she discussed members of Congress asking the White House for pardons.

Jun 28, 9:57 am
Surprise hearing signals committee’s urgency

The House select committee will convene Tuesday afternoon for a surprise public hearing, signaling apparent urgency among members to reveal further findings from their year-long inquiry.

The hearing, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, will see the committee “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony,” the group said in a news release Monday.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top adviser to Donald Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is expected to testify, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. Punchbowl News first reported her appearance.

Hutchinson is expected to put a voice to many of the internal White House interactions involving the events of Jan. 6 and offer significant insight into Meadows’ actions and interactions with Trump.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Surprise Jan. 6 hearing featuring White House adviser signals urgency by the committee

Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol will convene Tuesday afternoon for a surprise public hearing, signaling apparent urgency among members to reveal further findings from their year-long inquiry.

The hearing, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, will see the committee “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony,” the group said in a news release Monday.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top adviser to Donald Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is expected to testify, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. Punchbowl News first reported of her scheduled appearance late Monday.

It’s anticipated that through her testimony, Hutchinson will put a voice to many of the internal White House interactions involving the events of Jan. 6 that have been reported publicly and offer significant insight into Meadows’ actions and interactions with then-President Trump on Jan. 6 and in the days before and after, sources said.

Having already sat four separate times for closed-door depositions with the committee, Hutchinson has been featured in clips publicly displayed by the committee, including some in which she was discussing members of Congress asking the White House for pardons.

The surprise hearing comes after the committee had revised its schedule last week to postpone public events for “several weeks” as it sorted through a wave of new information.

“We have looked at the body of work that we need to get done and have taken in some additional information that’s going to require some additional work,” Committee Chair Bennie Thompson told reporters last week on the decision to go dark for several weeks. “So rather than present hearings that have not been the quality of the hearings of the past, we’ve made a decision to just move them to sometime in July.”

With the committee’s investigation still ongoing, British documentary filmmaker Alex Holder, who had substantial access to Trump, his family and closest aides around the Jan. 6 attack, sat last week for an interview behind closed doors and handed over footage including interviews with Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Lawmakers have also expressed interest in speaking to Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as well as former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who recently lost a runoff to be the Republican nominee for an open Senate seat, told CNN last week that he was willing to testify for the committee — but only in public and about events related to Jan. 6.

Hutchinson’s agreement to testify publicly comes after months of negotiations between the committee and her counsel, sources told ABC News. Hutchinson hired attorney Jody Hunt, who served as chief of staff to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the start of the Trump administration, to represent her as the latest public hearings began earlier this month.

The committee’s last hearing closed with Thompson previewing the focus of hearings to come, calling the insurrection Trump’s “backup plan of stopping the transfer of power” if he couldn’t get away with a “political coup” in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.

But Tuesday’s hearing appears to be in addition to the two remaining hearings the committee had already planned, as members continue to lay out what they’ve characterized as a “sophisticated seven-point plan” by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election. (Trump has continually assailed the panel, which includes two Republicans critical of him, as illegitimate; he insists he did nothing wrong.)

As some congressional Democrats push for criminal charges to be brought against Trump and allies as the hearings unfold, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the House committee, told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that charges were not his “principal interest” compared to showing the public how the violence unfolded to avoid it being repeated.

“But I know that there’s a great public hunger for individual criminal accountability, and I’ve got confidence in the Department of Justice, in Attorney General Merrick Garland, to do the right thing in terms of making all the difficult decisions about particular cases,” Raskin added.

For his part, Garland has told reporters that he and his prosecutors are closely watching the committee’s hearings, and the Department of Justice sent a letter this month telling the committee’s chief investigator it was “critical” that members “provide us with copies of the transcripts of all its witness interviews,” which the committee so far has declined to do — with Thompson saying that will come “in due time.”

Meanwhile, the department is taking further steps in its own investigation of people in Trump’s circle. Most recently, federal agents served a search warrant for John Eastman, a former Trump attorney at the center of the committee’s investigation. Eastman contended in a new lawsuit that federal agents seized his cell phone as part of that search.

Eastman claims in his suit that the warrant was issued at “the behest of the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General,” which has publicly said it is investigating any efforts by DOJ personnel to interfere in the 2020 election results.

On Wednesday, the same day the warrant was served on Eastman, federal agents conducted a search on the Virginia home of Jeffrey Clark, the former DOJ official who also allegedly sought to aid in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. (The Center for Renewing America, where Clark is a senior fellow, said that the government was being weaponized against him.)

This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz pressed Raskin in his Sunday appearance on what he saw as the “real impact” of the hearings in the public consciousness, citing a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll that 34% of Americans had been following the hearing somewhat or very closely — “as much as some people are very riveted,” she said.

“People are busy and so we know a lot of people, especially younger people, will learn about the hearings through snippets that go out on TV or online and people now are able to process information in different ways,” Raskin replied. “It’s not like the Watergate hearings where everybody had to be watching at the same moment because of the relatively primitive state of technology then. People are going to be able to absorb this over time.”

Tuesday’s hearing will air at 1 p.m. on ABC News and ABC News Live.

ABC News’ Mike Levine and Alexander Mallin contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson to testify at Jan. 6 hearing, sources say

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top adviser to former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, is expected to testify Tuesday before the Jan. 6 committee investigating the Capitol attack, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The committee announced on Monday that a newly scheduled hearing on Tuesday would “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony” — but the committee did not say who that witness would be.

Punchbowl first reported the news of her scheduled appearance.

Through her scheduled testimony, Hutchinson is expected to put a voice to many of the internal White House interactions involving the events of Jan. 6 that have been reported publicly, and offer significant insight into Meadows’ actions and interactions with Trump on Jan. 6 and in the days before and after, sources said.

During earlier depositions with the committee, Hutchinson confirmed to committee investigators accounts that Meadows had burned documents in his office, according to sources. Meadows has not commented on those allegations, and it’s not clear if they would have violated any record-keeping regulations.

Hutchinson has met with the committee three separate times for closed-door depositions.

Clips from some of those depositions have already been played publicly, including some where she was discussing members of Congress asking the White House for pardons.

Hutchinson’s agreement to testify publicly comes after months of negotiations between the committee and her counsel, sources said. Hutchinson hired a new attorney, Jody Hunt, earlier this month to represent her as the public Jan. 6 hearings began.

At the start of the Trump administration, Hunt served as chief of staff to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He later became the head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

DOJ seizes phone of former Trump attorney John Eastman as part of election probe, says lawsuit

Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Authorities on Wednesday seized the cell phone of John Eastman, the former attorney for Donald Trump at the center of the House committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, as part of the Justice Department’s criminal probe into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to a lawsuit filed by Eastman’s attorney.

In the lawsuit, Eastman’s attorney claims that the agents served the warrant on him last Wednesday evening while he was exiting a restaurant. They claim Eastman was frisked and his iPhone was seized, and that the agents made him provide biometric data to unlock his phone.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico, seeks to have the phone returned to Eastman.

Eastman, a right-wing lawyer, drafted a plan for then-President Trump to cling to power by falsely claiming that then-Vice President Mike Pence could reject legitimate electors during the certification of the election on Jan. 6.

Eastman’s lawsuit claims that the warrant for his phone’s seizure was issued at “the behest of the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General,” which has publicly said it is investigating any efforts by DOJ personnel to interfere in the 2020 election results.

Neither representatives for Eastman nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., immediately returned ABC News’ request for comment.

As ABC News first reported last week, federal agents on Wednesday also conducted a search of the Virginia home of Jeffrey Clark, the former DOJ official who also allegedly sought to aid Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Responding to Roe’s demise, some liberals tell Biden: ‘Do absolutely everything’

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — In his speech responding to last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision reversing the guarantee to abortion access, President Joe Biden urged Americans to vote on the issue — to both elect local leaders who would ensure the availability of abortion in their states as well as Democrats to Congress where he would like to see a law passed cementing a nationwide right to an abortion.

Within minutes of Biden’s remarks, there was a collective eye roll from many progressive activists, reproductive health care advocates and even fellow Democratic lawmakers online.

Then Friday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group singing “God Bless America” on the Capitol steps and that eye roll from the left turned into a groan.

“‘Vote!” and fundraising emails are the Democrat’s version of ‘thoughts and prayers,'” Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator and surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders who is a favorite in progressive circles, wrote on Twitter.

Monica Lewsinky echoed that, writing: “It’s not a time for words -poems + singing on the steps. Time for action: get rid of the filibuster, pack the f—- court + codify roe. at least put up a fight.”

Across the country, there were scenes over the weekend of pro-abortion access protesters chanting lines like “Democrats we call your bluff, voting blue is not enough” and backlash on the far-left over fundingraising emails and texts sent by the Democratic National Committee asking for “rush” donations to support candidates who would fight back against abortion opponents.

“If you are a lawmaker who, in the time between the leak & ruling, spent more manpower on a fundraising plan than a policy response, then I highly recommend rethinking your priorities. Our job right now is to protect people. Doing so will drive the vote more than browbeating,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote, retweeting a video of young female voters who said they were frustrated that Democrats had not acted to codify Roe into law years ago — with Democrats in turn saying they have been stymied by the 60-vote filibuster threshold.

‘Unprecedented moment’

Biden has said repeatedly that only Congress can pass a law to fully reestablish the right to an abortion nationwide and that he is looking for steps he can take within the bounds of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal dollars being spent on abortion care except to save the life of the mother or in an instance of rape or incest.

But without the current votes to pass a national abortion access law, Democrats in the House and the Senate have put forward a number of other policy proposals they think the president could still act on, even in light of Hyde, before the midterm elections.

Members of Congressional Black Caucus specifically called on the Biden administration to declare a public health emergency, arguing that that would free up federal dollars to perhaps support clinics in blue states expecting a surge of new patients from red states that have or will soon forbid abortion in all or most cases.

“In this unprecedented moment, we must act urgently as if lives depend on it because they do,” the group of lawmakers wrote in a Friday letter to the White House, citing the country’s high rates of maternal mortality compared to other developed nations, especially among Black women.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health Education and Labor, expressed frustration over the weekend that the Biden team was not ready with a plan for executive actions the day the decision came down, especially after a draft of the opinion was leaked more than a month ago.

In a letter to the White House in early June, Murray and others urged the administration to start looking at ways to protect patients’ personal health and location data as well as look into whether reproductive health services could be provided on federal lands or on federal property.

“I want President Biden to do absolutely everything in his power to protect access to abortion in America—let’s really push the envelope to protect women in this country, and let’s do it now,” Murray told ABC News in a written statement Monday night, adding that she understood that there were limits to his authority.

Leaders and activists pushing this idea about using federal land have argued that Hyde was designed to prevent the use of federal funds for paying for abortion services — most commonly to prevent women on government-run health insurance from being able to get abortion care paid for or reimbursed by the government. But they say that in leasing space, the government would be making and not spending money.

‘I think they were ready’

Other abortion access supporters took a different view on how the White House has responded, though they agreed that they wanted Biden to do more.

“I think they were ready for moment,” said Mini Timmaraju, the president of NARAL. “I think their reaction — although it came a little earlier than we all planned — was robust.”

Timmaraju said she was “pleased” with Biden’s remarks and “heartened” by his and Vice President Kamala Harris’ work so far, but she said that “I definitely think we need to see more specifics” about what the White House has announced so far such as access to medication for abortions and protecting women who travel to other states for care.

She added that she was “empathetic to the situation that they’re in” since it was “hard to have more specifics when we were waiting to see the parameters of what the court was going to decide.”

Asked about the use of federal lands on Monday, Harris told CNN, “It’s not right now what we are discussing.” A White House official told ABC: “While this proposal is well-intentioned, it could put women and providers at risk.”

Others have wondered if, within the bounds of Hyde’s restriction, federal funds could be used to help women with abortion-related expenses, like traveling out of state, or to offer abortion services to victims of rape in states, like Arkansas, where new bans do not have such exceptions.

Responding to some of these calls to action, a White House official told ABC News in a written statement, “We are going to continue to look at everything we can do, consistent with Hyde, to protect a woman’s right to choose but Hyde generally prohibits funding abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and threats to the life of the mother. Unfortunately, there are not enough votes in Congress to repeal it, just like there are not enough currently to restore Roe. This also makes the case for why we want more members of Congress who share our view on the urgency of this.”

Talking with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren doubled down on the idea of using federal lands to make abortion care as available as possible. Warren, like Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic lawmakers, also asked the president to lay out plans to make medication abortion available across state lines.

Biden said Friday that he was directing the Department of Health and Human Services to try to “take steps to ensure” that contraception and medications like mifepristone, which can end an early pregnancy, are as widely available as possible.

Other reproductive health care advocates have argued the White House could and should help provide more information at a minimum, with state laws changing rapidly and creating so much confusion for patients.

Timmaraju, the NARAL president, said the White House Gender Policy Council and the vice president’s office have held “a ton” of listening sessions and roundtables and have been talking to providers and lawyers about what’s possible.

Both Timmaraju and another reproductive rights advocate called on Biden to declare a national public health emergency like the government did for COVID-19.

The advocate, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said Biden should speak out more.

“We appreciate that the Biden administration obviously came out very quickly to take a stand, but they can and they should do more,” this person said. “The No. 1 priority must be to reduce harm, and they’ve got to use the bully pulpit as much and as often as they can to raise awareness.”

While the federal government launched ReproductiveRights.gov, Timmaraju and the other advocate said they wanted the White House to take further action to ensure more access to information.

“There is so much uncertainty and unknown” about the abortion pill, for example, the advocate said. “That is information that the Biden administration can and should put on that website.”

“How can anyone be satisfied with the speed when a right was taken away and it immediately prevented people from accessing health care in their states?” the advocate said.

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US to purchase advanced missile system for Ukraine’s defense

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(WASHINGTON) — The United States is working to finalize the purchase of an advanced air defense system bound for Ukraine, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said at the G-7 summit in Germany Monday.

Developed in Norway, the NASAMS is an anti-aircraft medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile that can reportedly strike targets 100 miles away.

Sullivan confirmed to reporters that the U.S. is finalizing the purchase but has yet to sign a contract making the purchase official.

It is unclear how much the anti-aircraft system costs.

Biden told his global counterparts at the G-7 and Ukraine’s President Zelensky about U.S. intentions, Sullivan said.

The impending purchase of the NASAMS system is part of a package that will also include artillery ammunition and counter-battery radars, according to Sullivan. The Ukrainian military made specific requests for the ammunition and radars, he said.

The NASAMS system is reported to protect restricted airspace around the White House.

Monday’s announcement from the G-7 summit comes four days after the White House announced it is sending $450 million in aid to Ukraine. HIMARS missile systems are part of that package.

Hours after the announcement, initial counts are that 10 died and more than 40 were wounded following a Monday missile strike in Kremenchuk in Ukraine’s Poltava region.

Residents say the strike hit a shopping mall, setting it ablaze.

The administration and President Zelensky hope the NASAMS system and other recent aid from the U.S. will better equip Ukraine to continue its pushback against Russia in the war, which recently entered its fifth month.

Some G-7 members also announced Sunday they will further tighten their grip on Russia by banning the imports of Russian gold.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan joined together to ban Russia’s second-largest import but fellow G-7 members Germany, France, and Italy held out.

The move codifies a ban that many refiners, shippers, and banks already voluntarily implemented themselves, and it highlights how even some of the world’s global powers — those geographically closest to the Russia-Ukrainian conflict — disagree with how to approach the matter.

The U.S. Treasury will release an official notice of the ban as it concerns U.S.-based businesses Tuesday.

President Zelenskyy met virtually with G-7 leaders Monday as the group moves closer to reaching an agreement that will cap the price of Russian oil, further starving Russia of funds to fuel its war.

ABC News’ Fidel Pavlenko contributed to this report.

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