A former White House aide on Tuesday described Donald Trump lunging for a Secret Service agent who refused to take him to the Capitol on Jan. 6, trying to grab the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle and throwing plates in anger.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the House committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The hearing concluded with the committee's vice chair, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, warning of witness tampering.
"I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns," she said.
"The Truth Won't Be Buried"
The chair of the committee, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, accused Trump allies of a coverup.
"Thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won't be buried," he said. "The American people won't left in the dark. Our witness today, Cassidy Hutchinson, has embodied that courage."
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Meadows Predicted Jan. 6 Could Be "Real, Real Bad"
Four days before Jan. 6, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Hutchinson that Trump would go to the Capitol. Giuliani said, "He’s going to look powerful. He’s going to be with the members, He’s going to be with the senators."
He told her to ask Meadows about it.
Aide Says Trump Knew Mob Was Armed
Trump was told that some of the protesters in the crowd outside the White House had weapons, Hutchinson testified.
Still he wanted magnetometers near the White House to be taken down before he addressed a “Stop the Steal” rally, she testified.
“They’re not here to hurt me," he said.
He told officials to “let my people in” and march to the Capitol, Hutchinson said.
White House Counsel Warned of Criminal Charges
The White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, had serious legal concerns about Trump going to the Capitol, Hutchinson said.
"We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable," Cipollone said on Jan. 6, she said. He was focused on accusations of obstructing justice and defrauding the electoral count.
Trump Grabbed Steering Wheel, Aide Says
When special agent Robert Engel told Trump he could not go to the Capitol after his Jan. 6 rally, the former president reached for the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle, Hutchinson said. Then he lunged for the agent, she said.
Trump Threw Plates, Aide Testifies
The former president was enraged after learning that former Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press there was no evidence of election fraud. Hutchinson said. He shattered a plate and left ketchup dripping down the wall.
"Hang Mike Pence"
Trump backed calls by his supporters to "Hang Mike Pence," Hutchinson said. Hutchinson said Meadows told her that Trump “thinks Mike deserves it."
Preventing Cabinet From Invoking 25th Amendment
Hutchinson said Trump was persuaded to make a speech to the country the day after the Capitol riot to head off the possibility of his cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment and to protect his legacy.
Reports of Witness Intimidation
Cheney presented messages that witnesses had received, a reminder that Trump read transcripts and an exhortation to remain a team player. "And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee," one read.