On June 28, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson gave what was, until then, some of the most shocking testimony of the Jan. 6 hearings. In a session that was added to the schedule with little notice, Hutchinson came forward to say that Donald Trump was aware that many in the crowd present at his rally were armed; that Donald Trump was determined to go to the Capitol to personally led the insurrection already in progress; and that Trump got into an angry confrontation with his driver and members of the Secret Service when they failed to deliver him to the heart of the mob.
For her courage, Hutchinson was roundly attacked in right wing circles. Multiple news sources—including the Washington Post, New York Times, and broadcast networks—claimed that anonymous sources had informed them that members of the Secret Service were ready to testify that Hutchinson’s claims were false, and there was no altercation inside the presidential limousine. Both Trump and Trump supporters in Congress made Hutchinson the target of claims that she was a liar, with Trump claiming that Hutchinson was just upset that she had been turned down for a job at Mar-a-Lago because “no one wants her.”
But the ninth hearing of the committee jumped straight into testimony from multiple witnesses that confirmed and expanded on Hutchinson’s testimony.
The first part of this testimony came from a “security professional working in the White House complex on Jan. 6.” It’s highly likely that this individual was a member of the Secret Service or an official involved in national security, but the committee went out of the way to protect the identity of this witness, using a disguised voice and no images. Considering the way that the Secret Service handled emails related to Jan. 6, it seems a very good idea that, if this witness was part of that agency, they be protected from other agents. Rep. Elaine Luria noted that some witnesses have “expressed a fear of retribution.”
The witness quickly confirmed that the White House was aware of multiple reports that members of the crowd at Trump’s rally, some of whom were already at the Capitol as Trump began to speak, were heavily armed. Then the witness confirmed not only that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol, but that everyone was aware of what would happen if he did.
Witness: “To be completely honest, we were all in a state of shock. … We all knew what that implicated. What that meant. That this was no longer a rally, that this was going to move to something else if he physically walked to the Capitol. I don’t want to know if you want to use the word insurrection or coup. Whatever. We all knew that this would move from a normal democratic public event into something else.”
This was followed by D.C. Police sergeant Mark Robinson, who confirmed the other part of Hutchinson’s testimony — that Trump had an altercation with his driver and others in the motorcade in an attempt to force the vehicles to take him to the Capitol.
Robinson: “The president was upset, and was adamant about going to the Capitol, and there was a heated discussion about that.” Robinson also testified that, even though he had been part of the presidential motorcade over 100 times, this was the only time he was aware of Trump arguing over where the driver was trying to go.