Since Hutchinson’s testimony, Republicans have been desperately racing to refute the deeply damaging things the former White House assistant had to say about Trump. Fox News and other right-wing sources have been flashing up chyrons claiming that Hutchinson has been “debunked” with the kind of persistence they usually reserve for Hunter Biden’s notebook.
Most of these “debunkings” seem to take the form of an anonymous source claiming that someone in one of the incidents Hutchinson relayed—members of the Secret Service, or other members of White House staff—will step up to deny her testimony. But when it comes to actual agreements to give sworn testimony before the committee, the ranks of Hutchinson refuters appears to be absolutely empty.
One person who isn’t even getting mentioned as a potential source in correcting the record is Meadows. As Hutchinson’s boss, and the person she spoke with multiple times on Jan. 6, he would seem to be the obvious go-to guy on anything having to do with either the facts she’s relaying or her character as a witness. But Meadows has remained notably silent.
Though it now seems the former chief of staff did a little talking in Trump circles before Hutchinson’s appearance. One of the two threatening messages shown at the hearing looked like this.
“[A person] let me know you have 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,”
According to The Guardian, the “[A person]” in that message is Meadows.
Who actually sent the message hasn’t been revealed, but it’s clearly someone who was in close contact with Meadows and also someone with deep concerns about what Hutchinson might say. That’s a set of people that absolutely contains more than one named “Trump.”
When it comes to the message on the other slide …
“What they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I’m on the right team. I’m doing the right thing. I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts.”
The target of the message also appears to have been Hutchinson. Who sent the message isn’t clear, but in this case, the author appears to be advising Hutchison to play along if she wants to avoid Trump’s ire. While Meadows' name hasn’t been associated with this second message, it seems very much like a message that could be the ex-chief of staff advising his former aide.
Hutchinson has reportedly named the sources of both messages to the committee.
The two messages were examples of how witnesses speaking to the House committee had been subjected to threats and intimidation. The messages contained exactly the kind of language that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen spoke about when he was testifying during the investigation of Trump’s many connections to Russia. And in fact, Cohen himself was ordered to lie when testifying about Trump’s real estate deals in Moscow.
While The Guardian was unable to obtain a comment from Meadows, Politico did manage to snag a statement from Meadows’ spokesman. “No one from Meadows’ camp, himself or otherwise, has ever attempted to intimidate or shape Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony to the committee. Any phone call or message she is describing is at best deeply misleading.”
There’s exactly one thing Mark Meadows could do if he wants to make that statement even slightly believable. He can raise his right hand and give sworn testimony before the committee.