Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and a witness to many critical events and conversations, is expected to testify publicly on Tuesday before the select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Her planned appearance was first reported by Punchbowl News.
Hutchinson has already been interviewed by the committee behind closed doors and video clips from her deposition have been featured by the panel during earlier hearings. But her live testimony would mark a significant moment in the committee’s series of hearings as Hutchinson has long been considered one of its most consequential witnesses due to her proximity to former President Donald Trump’s then-White House chief of staff.
The appearance was hastily arranged on a week where no public activity had been anticipated and a public hearing was announced by the committee just 24 hours before it was set to begin. The rush to hold the hearing – after the panel had said it would not hold any more until July – underscores the importance of Hutchinson’s expected live testimony.
Hutchinson has answered the panel’s questions during three separate sessions and went over “new ground” with the committee last month, though it was not immediately clear what was discussed during that deposition.
During one hearing last week, the committee played a video clip of Hutchinson testifying that Meadows and former President Donald Trump’s onetime attorney Rudy Giuliani were involved in early conversations about putting forward fake slates of electors – a core tenet of the broader effort to overturn the 2020 election.
The panel has also played video of Hutchinson testifying that Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, wanted then-Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark to take over the department – connecting another key part of Trump’s effort to upend Joe Biden’s election win.
“He wanted Mr. Clark – Mr. Jeff Clark – to take over the Department of Justice,” she said of Perry in a clip of her deposition that was played at a hearing last week.
Hutchinson also named several Republican members of Congress who she said had inquired about pardons, either for themselves or others, around January 6, according to other video played by the committee during its hearings, including: Perry and Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
CNN has reported that during one of her interviews with the committee, Hutchinson said Trump had suggested to Meadows that he approved of the “hang Mike Pence” chants from rioters who stormed the US Capitol.
She also testified that Trump had complained about his then-vice president being hustled to safety while Trump supporters breached the Capitol, the sources previously told CNN.
CNN previously reported that Hutchinson was likely to testify in person during one of the committee’s upcoming hearings after she replaced her lawyer who had significant links to Trump, according to a source familiar with the matter
She was not willing to risk getting a contempt of Congress charge in order to impede the probe, the source familiar said, and the change in representation was a sign that she was more willing to cooperate with the committee.
The panel has not revealed the topic of the hearing, which will start at 1 p.m. ET and will mark its sixth hearing this month. A source familiar with the committee’s plans had told CNN earlier Monday that the panel was concerned about the security of a potential witness ahead of Tuesday’s hearing. The safety of the witness and the proceedings in general is in part why the committee has been so secretive about who would appear on Tuesday and what topics would be discussed.
The security concerns have also led to new precautions being taken inside the hearing room. Another source told CNN that some of the people who had regular front row seats for hearings were told they likely will not get them on Tuesday for security reasons.
A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment on its preparations for Tuesday’s hearing, which were first reported on by The Washington Post.
This story has been updated with additional details Tuesday.