The witness was a star, but not TNT


The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol was going to take a few weeks off, but stumbled into something it thought so explosive, it called a Special Added Attraction Assembly for Tuesday afternoon.

Cassidy Hutchinson fed the committee red meat

To this neutral observer outside the Beltway, there was a juicy hamburger on the barbecue, but the propane didn’t explode. I did not see the necessity for a special hearing.

There were three highlights in the first hour of testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, chief aide to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the one and only witness, who reported what she heard first hand, and what she was told, which is second-hand. She was wallpaper in many important meetings. 

The tabloid highlights were President Donald J. Trump’s explosive temper.

The legal highlight was his staff’s knowledge prior to Jan. 6 that there was a high likelihood of violence. We’ll get to that in a moment. 

All the following is based on the testimony of Hutchinson, a Trump loyalist.

When the movie gets made, and it will, look for the scene in which a furious Trump fights with his Secret Service agent for the steering wheel of the Beast, the president’s heavily armored Cadillac limousine. (It reminds me of the reported midnight scene of President Richard M. Nixon talking  to the White House portrait of President Abraham Lincoln.)

Why was Trump so angry? After his Jan. 6 speech, Trump wanted to march on the Capitol with his supporters, as he told them he would. There was some discussion at one point of Trump actually entering the House chamber. (House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had sent word, “Don’t come up here!”)

Any idea of him walking with his supporters to the Capitol was shot down by the Secret Service immediately. When he got into the Beast, he thought he would be driven there. “I’m the American president! Take me to the Capitol right now!”

That did not happen.

The other highlight — or lowlight, depending on your point of view — was Trump’s destruction of the People’s Crockey in the White House.

After hearing Attorney General Bill Barr’s interview with the AP, in which he said there was negligible fraud in the election, Trump exploded and threw his lunch against the wall, leaving ketchup stains.

He did things like this “several times,” said Hutchinson, along with yanking the tablecloth to crash plates and glasses to the floor.

That’s funny to some, but there were revelations of more substance.

After Jan. 6, Hutchinson said, things were so bad several Cabinet members were discussing the XXV Amendment, which allows for the removal of an impaired president. Two Cabinet Secretaries resigned — Labor’s Elaine Chao and Education’s Betsy DeVos.

On Jan. 6, two Fox News Trumpsters, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, both demanded that Trump call off the mob, with Hannity warning that the XXV Amendment is “real.” Ivanka Trump and Don Jr. both called on their father to step up and stop it.

While the riot was going on, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows remained curiously detached, according to Hutchinson. Both Meadows and Rudy Giuliani requested pardons, she said, which shows an inference of guilt on their part, but that does not necessarily attach to Trump.

After repeated calls, Trump finally issued a wishy-washy statement asking his supporters to leave the Capitol.

While it has been reported before that no one who breached the Capitol had a firearm, we learned that some of his other supporters were armed.

Prior to his speech, Trump was angered by the small crowd in front of the stage (and in camera view).

He wanted more supporters allowed in for the cameras and was told those who were armed refused to pass through the metal detectors, called magnetometers.

“I don’t f’n care that they have weapons,” Hutchinson quoted him as saying. They’re not here to hurt me . . . Take the f’n mags away.”

She testified as early as Jan. 3, White House staffers and security people were aware some of those planning to come to the Jan. 6 rally might cause trouble.

Knowing that, I wonder why the Capitol police were not better prepared. There was also no testimony that Trump encouraged the planned violence.

That he delayed so long in calling off the dogs suggests that he didn’t care that much, but is that a crime?

Dereliction of duty? Maybe.

Clearly a loyal Republican, Hutchinson’s fealty to Trump ended when the president learned that the crowd was chanting,”Hang Mike Pence” and he responded, “Maybe Mike deserved it.”

Hutchinson said that was “unpatriotic” and “unAmerican.”

I agree, but is all of what he did actually criminal? Did the surprise witness get it done? 

13 thoughts on “The witness was a star, but not TNT”

  1. What caught my eye was the texts. Witness tampering is a crime. Here’s one text they released. They weren’t from Trump, but they were from someone at least pretending to speak for Trump. Whoever sent it can say for certain whether they were to told to do so–or go to jail for Trump.

    “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know 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.”
    Sounds a lot like the message one would get from a mob boss.

    The other thing that caught my eye was the fact that Trump was going to promise a pardon to those marching on the Capitol, but that was taken out of the speech. You are right that it’s not TNT, but it sure looks like he was hoping to spark illegal behavior. The only reason to promise a pardon is if you don’t want people to worry about breaking the law. Seems like his aides and advisors would not let him tread too close to the line he certainly seems to have wanted to cross. I doubt there will be a smoking gun, but there is not much in the situation that points away from him.

    1. Pardoning someone for breaking the law doesn’t mean you approve of the action in question. I can’t think of a president who said he approved of the criminal he was forgiving.
      So far, it is all circumstantial.

  2. Meanwhile, as the rabid haters kick the body of DT around pillar and post, back at the White House the mental midget who took his place wanders aimlessly around, drooling, talking to himself, reading his assigned crib notes, and the country slowly goes to hell. And no one in the Fourth Estate seems to notice.

    Trump threw crockery. Didn’t Hillary do the same? And hit Bill in the head once or twice?

    1. In case you missed it, Left pubs have carried stories about Biden’s troubles.
      As foe Hillary, maybe she did. She is not my role model either.
      Never heard Barack threw anything around. Or W.

    I caught most of today’s soap opera, ‘Dims in the Swamp’. Sorry to say, I am not a believer. For the money that we are paying for the swamp to put on all of these theatrics, you would expect first class performances. The dims and RINOs have spent a lot of our money – foolishly, over the last 6 years or so. I’m scared to hear the total.
    Cassidy Hutchinson. Good, bad, indifferent ? One thing’s for sure. She is DONE in politics. We’ll never know if she was used, bought or sold. She may be ‘as pure as the driven snow’, or her minor coulda/shoulda been acting. Keep in mind pallie. We’re talking Washington D.C.. Better known as ‘The Swamp’ ! Every elected and appointed official down there takes the oath. You taking the oath has much more meaning than most – if not all of the swamp dwellers.
    FYI. THE BEAST: If you think of the old limos used by the funeral homes, their oversized ( stretched ) bodies had rear seats that faced each other. The Presidential Limo does all that and more. There are glass panels ( dividers ) that make the driver’s cocoon basically indestructible. I’m not saying that the Jersey girl is full of crap. I just don’t think that President Trump has a EIGHT FOOT ARM ! That can punch through bullet proof glass ! Obviously, if one so called truth is in error, how many more.
    Will these expensive dog and pony shows sway any ? many voters ? Sure. If you didn’t have any brains before. If you are that naïve. If you are that gullible, then nothing has changed. Nothing will change.

    1. You assume the divider between driver and passenger was up. You assume Trump was gorilla glued to his seat. My 60 years of experience has given me a world class bullshit detector. Ms. Hutchinson showed NO indication of evasion or lying.
      Btw: The Beast episode was second hand, as she said. There were two other people in the car. Let’s subpoena them. Agreed?

      1. Evidently he was not in the Beast, he was in a SS SUV. Moreover, the partition between the passenger and front seat can be lowered at will in the beast.

        1. Reporting I heard from several sources said it was the Beast, but we know (remember Uvalde?) first accounts are often wrong. And, yes, the divider i. A limo can always be lowered.
          Two reports now say the SS are disputing the altercation. The committee is now obliged to take their testament to maintain the illusion of fairness.

  4. I viewed this, found her to be extremely credible, to say nothing that it reinforces what we already know about this odious Trump’s personality and character, and I am profoundly sad for this country. That people around him knew the extent of his mental instability and enabled him; that his inner circle remains cowardly and immorally silent; that his MAGA Repugnants continue to support him in spite of it shows how deeply atrophied our republic is. THIS is the person who was in charge of our nuclear codes. Let that sink in.

    1. That’s the part that struck me. All these people knew the insanity that was going on in that White House, and they knew how dangerous it was, yet they chose to keep their mouths shut at the time. That is not heroism. That is cowardice. It’s good that they are speaking up now, but man, is the horse out of the barn.

      For those on this thread who refuse to believe what they are hearing from, ya know, actual Republicans, I pity you. As we read in 1984: “An atmosphere of deceit where ‘that which is truth’ is totally controlled by an authoritatively positioned ruling party. The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” That’s exactly what you are doing with Trump: not listening to what pretty much the entire rest of the world is telling you, and believing only him. It’s all there for you to see and hear, yet you refuse to see nor hear it. Ask yourself why.

  5. I think you’ve done a pretty fair job so far Stu. It would be nice though if Pelosi released all transcripts taken from all sides behind closed doors. Then “the rest of the story” would be known.

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