Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified om June 28 at the surprise hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building. The Jan. 6 hearings were scheduled to be postponed until July 11. Notice of the impromptu session came less than 24 hours before the said sixth hearing was set to begin. (AP Photo)

By Tashi McQueen,
Political Writer for The AFRO,
Report For America Corps Member

Cassidy Hutchinson, former White House aide to Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, testified on June 28 in a surprise hearing announced just the day before. Hutchinson testified that she overheard several key conversations related to Jan.6 because of how close she was to the oval office of then-President Trump.

Hutchinson testified about Trump and Mark Meadows’ initial refusal to act on the Jan. 6 attack. She spoke of multiple White House council members who wanted Trump and Meadows to take action, including the president’s daughter and senior advisor Ivanka Trump. 

The rioters’ arrival at the Capitol building complex was at 1 p.m. Trump did not take action until 4:17 p.m. that day, which he did reluctantly. 

Several parts of her testimony shocked viewers. Hutchinson said that former aide Tony Ornato, recounted a violent episode to her, where Trump attacked a secret service member, Bobby Engel. Ornato told Hutchinson that Trump became enraged when his secret service detail would not take him to the Capitol building to lead the insurrectionists. Trump was so incensed, he attempted to grab the wheel of the car. He also went after Secret Service Agent Bobby Engel, physically lunging at him. 

“It was unpatriotic,” said Hutchinson. “The Capitol got defaced over a lie.”

On Jan. 6, 2021, insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump, rioted outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The hearing marked the sixth day that the Jan. 6 committee gathered to present evidence on what occurred before, during and after the U.S. Capitol insurrection. 

“Thank you for doing your patriotic duty, to help the American people get a complete understanding of what happened on Jan. 6,” said Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) to Hutchinson. “I speak to the witnesses, those whose memories failed them again and again, you attempt to hide the truth from the American people.”

The gravity of the situation is not lost on Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who implored American citizens to pay attention to the evidence laid out by the committee. 
“I ask all of our fellow Americans as you watch our hearings over the coming weeks, please remember what’s at stake,” said Cheney. “The sacred obligation to defend this peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every American president – except one.”

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