The Courage of January 6 Witness Cassidy Hutchinson

Only a woman would have done what Cassidy Hutchinson did because only a woman, in a place of such power and prestige, would have recorded everything and taken such close notes instead of spending that time bragging to be important.

Here she is, all alone, at 26, in front of the whole country.

I found his testimony before the January 6 committee to be entirely credible. If she lied, I see no motive. Anyone who knows otherwise, who can refute what she said, should come forward and, like her, testify under oath.

She was steadily promoted in Donald Trump’s White House, rising from intern to senior assistant to chief of staff Mark Meadows. She was obviously professional and discreet, a conservative, a Trumpian committed to the higher political mission. The powerful men around her seem to have been defenseless in her presence and have spoken freely – she’s just a brat, a girl, what can she do? She helps the steward clean the ketchup from the wall after the President throws a tantrum and throws away his plates and silverware. In the scheme of things, she is nobody.

And yet, such people can topple empires.

By being there this week, she has shown much more courage than the men in this White House. Mr. Meadows, attorney Pat Cipollone and others – his testimony made them sound like a bunch of talkative hysterics. You tell the president not to do this! No, you tell him! They worried about legal exposure. Ms Hutchinson paraphrased Mr Cipollone: ​​“We are going to be charged with every crime imaginable!

You get the sense that she, on the other hand, cared about what was right.

Now alone, with the administration over but her men still in hiding, she stepped forward, and what she said changed everything. His testimony made criminal charges against the former president more likely. In National Review, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote that his testimony was devastating in that he described Donald Trump as “singularly guilty” for the events of 6/1. As for the disputed limousine fight between the President and his Secret Service agents, Mr. McCarthy says, reasonably: Let them speak under oath. Ms Hutchinson did not say the skirmish happened, but that she was told it did – by an officer who was there, minutes after it allegedly happened. There’s nothing wrong with this place with hearsay. “The purpose of an investigation is to seek reliable and admissible evidence,” writes Mr. McCarthy. “For this, hearsay is not only allowed but encouraged. »

David French in the Dispatch also saw Ms Hutchinson’s testimony as strengthening the case for prosecution. Mr. Trump endorsed the riot, intended to march to the Capitol with the crowd, believing Vice President Mike Pence deserved to be hurt. Most serious, according to Mr. French, is what Ms. Hutchinson said she heard Mr. Trump say of the crowd: “You know, I don’t care if they have guns. They are not here to hurt me. Remove the effing mags. Let my people in. They can walk to the Capitol from here.

Magnetometers – mags – are used to detect weapons. Some members of the crowd wore them.

Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony needs to be corroborated by others who might have heard Mr. Trump say this. But if it holds, an indictment “would be a relatively simple story,” Mr. French writes.

“First, Trump summoned the crowd to Washington. Second, he “knew the crowd was armed and dangerous.” Third, he urged them to “fight like hell” and march on the Capitol. Ms Hutchinson said he tried to direct it himself. Fourth, he further inflamed the crowd after the attack began by tweeting, “Mike Pence didn’t have the guts to do what was needed. »

With this factual pattern, his earlier admonition to the crowd to move forward “peacefully and patriotically” sounds, in Mr. French’s eyes, “more like a pro forma ass cover than a real plea.” It was a drop of pacifism in an ocean of incitement.

The purpose of gathering all possible information about this ugly historical event is to see that those who did it are exposed and punished so that it never happens again. Had Mr. Trump been successful, he would have produced a new era, in which democracy and its processes would no longer work in America, in which the outcome of every national election would be a question. We can’t allow that because we can’t survive that way, we’d be finished.

What is important now is that more people testify publicly under oath. More people will want to talk. The committee should have the means to speed up its pace and extend its timetable.

After Ms. Hutchinson, the testimony of MM. Meadows and Cipollone is more crucial than ever. Mr. Meadows was central to all of 1/6 and before as the plot unfolded. Ms Hutchinson said she asked for a presidential pardon. Is he? Why? (Mr. Meadows denied this.)

Mr. Cipollone, also at the heart of events, is an interesting case. Almost every book and article about the end of the Trump administration portrays him as a hero, so it’s generally assumed that he was more than just a source. Why so shy now?

He knows if Mrs. Hutchinson was telling the truth. He knows more than that.

Mr Cipollone is said to have concerns about questions of executive privilege. Representative Liz Cheney suggested during the hearings that it was simpler than that: “Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. »

He may want to maintain his business and political ties with Trumpworld and has concluded that he can maintain them by never saying in public what might be said in private, in the background. Let the girl be brave; he will be careful.

But he owes the truth to the public who paid his salary, and until he makes his nickname in Washington, “Patsy Baloney,” he will stay.

I will finish with Ms. Cheney. When the GOP congressional leadership boys stripped her of her position and tossed her to the side, they were, as usual, making a mistake. She was far less dangerous inside the tent fighting Mr. Trump than outside the tent bringing him to justice. It would have been easy for them to get Republicans on the committee, but when Nancy Pelosi rejected their first two choices, they backed out, calculating that the Republicans’ absence would hurt the committee. This made the committee – less obfuscation, less seed of chaos.

On Wednesday evening at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Ms. Cheney gave a long talk scheduled for the Time for Choose series. (I’m on it and I’m a board member.) The series asks speakers to present a vision for the future of the party. The library plays fair, not siding with any faction or party view, giving everyone an equal audience.

Ms Cheney’s speech was sold out days in advance, but the question was how she would be received. She, being Liz Cheney, quickly addressed the elephant in the room. It’s “painful for Republicans to accept,” she said, but “we have to choose. Because Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.

The audience. . . broke into cheers. She received a standing ovation.

Sometimes girls are not judged badly.

Happy 246th July 4th to the great and fabulous nation that is still, today, the hope of the world.

Summary and outlook: While Democrats want to use the Jan. 6 investigation to portray the opposition as a gang of crazed insurgents, Republicans cannot ignore the mounting evidence regarding Donald Trump’s conduct. Images: Press Pool/Reuters/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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