Jan. 6 committee holds sixth hearing

By Adrienne Vogt, Elise Hammond, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:37 AM ET, Wed June 29, 2022
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2:06 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Former White House counsel relayed "serious legal concerns" to Hutchinson, she says

Cassidy Hutchinson
Cassidy Hutchinson (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said former White House counsel Pat Cipollone told her that "we need to make sure that this doesn't happen," referring to going to the Capitol.  

"'This would be legally a terrible idea for us. We have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day,'" she said he told her in a brief conversation on Jan. 3, 2021. "And he then urged me to continue relaying that to Mr. Meadows, because it's my understanding that Mr. Cipollone thought that Mr. Meadows was, indeed, pushing this along with the President." 

On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Hutchinson also spoke to Cipollone, who said "something to the effect of 'please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.'"

"In the days leading up to the 6th, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count," she said.

During a previous interview with the committee shown on video, she said on Jan. 3 or Jan. 4, "Pat was concerned ... that it would look like we were obstructing what was happening on Capitol Hill, and he was also worried that it would look like we were inciting a riot or encouraging a riot to erupt on the Capitol, at the Capitol."
2:49 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Meadows "almost had a lack of reaction" when he heard about violence at Capitol, former aide says

Cassidy Hutchinson
Cassidy Hutchinson (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mark Meadows, said the former White House chief of staff "almost had a lack of reaction" when she told him about the violence at the US Capitol.

Hutchinson said she first tried to relay information to Meadows about Capitol Police having difficulty with protesters on Jan. 6, 2021, but he shut the door of his car on her.

Meadows "was in a secure vehicle at the time making a call," she recounted for the committee. "When I went to open the door to let him know, he immediately shut it. I don't know who he was speaking with. It wasn't something that he regularly did, especially when I would go over to give him information. So I was a bit taken aback, but I didn't think much of it."

Hutchinson said she thought she could have a conversation with him a few moments later, and she added that she followed up 20 to 25 minutes later.

"There was another period between where he shut the door again, and then when he finally got out of the vehicle, we had the conversation. At that point, there was a backlog of information that he should have been made aware of," she told the committee.

When she told him about the violence at the Capitol, she said there was a lack of reaction on his part.

"He almost had a lack of reaction. I remember him saying 'alright.' Something to the effect of 'how much longer does the President have left in his speech?'" Hutchinson said.

Watch moment here:

 

1:47 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Hutchinson told committee she heard Trump say he didn't care that his supporters had weapons

From CNN's Clare Foran

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the Jan. 6 hearing that she overheard former President Donald Trump saying that he did not care if his supporters had weapons — and suggested he had no issue with them marching to the Capitol armed.

"I overheard the President say something to the effect of 'I don't F-ing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the F-ing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take the F-ing mags away."

1:43 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Hutchinson says then-DNI Ratcliffe warned efforts to fight election results could "spiral out of control"

From CNN's David Shortell

(Andrew Harnik/Pool via Reuters)
(Andrew Harnik/Pool via Reuters)

In December 2020, just days before the Capitol Hill riot, John Ratcliffe, then the Trump-picked director of National Intelligence, told Cassidy Hutchinson that the White House's effort to "fight the results of the election" could "spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous."

"The way that the White House was handling the post-election period, he felt that there could be dangerous repercussions in terms of precedent set for elections, for our Democracy, for the 6th," Hutchinson said of Ratcliffe, a former Republican lawmaker with access to the nation's most closely guarded secrets.

The comment was one of a number of "prescient" warnings about potential violence on Jan. 6, 2021 — in the words of Rep. Liz Cheney — that the House Select Committee invoked at a public hearing Tuesday. 

Hutchinson also testified that Mark Meadows, her boss, the then-chief of staff, told her on Jan. 2, 2021, that "things might get real, real bad on the 6th." 

"That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous of what could happen on Jan. 6," Hutchinson said.

1:50 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Trump and Meadows told about weapons among supporters at Jan. 6 rally held at Ellipse, former aide testifies

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

A photo of former President Donald Trump from back stage at the January 6th rally is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson testifies on Tuesday.
A photo of former President Donald Trump from back stage at the January 6th rally is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson testifies on Tuesday. (Shawn Thew/Pool via Reuters)

The President's chief of staff Mark Meadows and Donald Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump supporters had weapons when they gathered on the Ellipse that day, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson has testified.  

Hutchinson also testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said he talked to Trump about weapons at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021. 

The House select committee investigation learned from law enforcement reports that people at the Trump rally on the Ellipse had pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, Tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, vice chair Liz Cheney said on Tuesday.

Hutchinson corroborated that this was known inside the White House the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, as well. She said she witnessed a discussion about the weapons between Ornato and Meadows, her boss. 

Ornato informed Meadows about the weaponry, and mentioned to Hutchinson "these f'ing people are fastening spears onto the ends of flagpoles," she said in previous testimony that the committee presented as a video clip on Tuesday. 

But Hutchinson said that Meadows, on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, didn't look up from his phone, seeming to barely register what was said. 

Meadows asked Ornato, "Have you talked to the President?" she recalled. Ornato said he had made Trump aware, she added. 

The Justice Department has proven in court some of those who breached the Capitol carried firearms and fought the police line with other weapons. 

The House committee also played radio traffic on Tuesday from police identifying firearms being carried in downtown Washington, DC, near the Ellipse. 

1:41 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Police on Jan. 6 identified people carrying weapons, according to committee

Jan. 6 House select committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said the panel obtained information that people attending former President Trump's rally ahead of the Capitol attack had weapons that were confiscated — but police transmissions show that those outside the rally had firearms including AR-15s.

"When a president speaks, the Secret Service typically requires those attending to pass through metal detectors, known as magnetometers, or mags for short. The select committee has learned that people who willingly entered the enclosed area for President Trump's speech were screened so they could attend the rally at the Ellipse. They had weapons and other items that were confiscated — pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, tasers, body armor, gas masks, batons, blunt weapons. And those were just from the people who chose to go through the security for the president's event on the Ellipse, not the several thousand members of the crowd who refused to go through the mags and watched from the lawn near the Washington Monument," Cheney said.  

"The select committee has learned about reports from outside the magnetometers and has obtained police radio transmissions identifying individuals with firearms, including AR-15s near the Ellipse on the morning of Jan. 6," she said.

The committee then played radio transmissions with law enforcement identifying individuals who had pistols and AR-15s.

1:32 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Hutchinson heard Proud Boys and Oath Keepers mentioned leading up to Jan. 6

From CNN's Holmes Lybrand

Cassidy Hutchinson testifies on Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson testifies on Tuesday. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the committee she heard the names of two far-right groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper, mentioned leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. 

“I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally, when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a video the committee played of one of her previous depositions.  

Vice Chairmwoman Liz Cheney noted that “Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the Proud Boys for Jan. 6.”

Dozens of people connected to the Proud Boys have been arrested for their alleged participation in the Capitol riot, and leaders of both groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged role that day, some of whom provided security that day for allies to President Donald Trump, including Roger Stone.  

During the hearing, Cheney said the White House had received information specifically about the Proud Boys and their plans for Jan. 6. 

“The White House continued to receive updates about planned demonstrations,” Cheney said, “including information regarding the Proud Boys’ organizing and planning to attend events on Jan. 6.”

According to Cheney, the Capitol Police issued a “Special Event Assessment” on Jan. 3, 2021, warning that the Proud Boys and other groups planned to be in Washington on Jan. 6 and “Congress itself is the target” that day.  

1:32 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Meadows told aide "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6," she testifies to committee

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks along the South Lawn in October 2020.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks along the South Lawn in October 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told his aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 2, 2021, that "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6," she testified to the Jan. 6 House select committee on Tuesday.

She said he told her this after she spoke with former President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who told her "something to the effect of 'we're going to the Capitol.'"

Hutchinson said that Meadows "was scrolling through his phone; I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, 'I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. It sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.' He didn't look up from his phone and said something to the effect of 'there's a lot going on, Cass, but I don't know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6."

"That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6," she said.

1:30 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Days before the riot, Rudy Giuliani told Hutchinson "we're going to the Capitol" on Jan. 6

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

Rudy Giuliani speaks to the media on November 7, 2020, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Rudy Giuliani speaks to the media on November 7, 2020, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified Tuesday that former President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on Jan. 2, 2021 — four days before the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters – that “we’re going to the Capitol” on Jan. 6, 2021 and that Trump himself was also planning to be there.

"As Mr. Giuliani and I were walking to his vehicle that evening, he looked at me and said something to the effect of 'Cass, are you excited for the sixth? It's going to be a great day.' I remember looking at him and saying, 'Rudy, can you explain what's happening on the sixth?' And he responded something to the effect of 'we're going to the Capitol. It's going to be great. The President's going to be there. He's going to look powerful. He's going to be with the members. He's going to be with the senators. Talk to the chief about it. Talk to the chief about it. He knows about it.'"

More context: It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but Hutchinson’s testimony establishes for the first time that people around Trump had advance knowledge of this plan.

Hutchinson also said during her testimony that she told her boss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, about Giuliani’s comments, shortly after he made them on Jan. 2, 2021. According to Hutchinson, Meadows “didn’t look up from his phone” during their conversation, but did tell her something to the effect of, “there’s a lot going on… but things might get real, real bad on January 6.” 

She testified that these conversations made her feel “scared” about what was going to happen.

Hutchinson’s testimony Tuesday undermines Meadows’ recent book. He wrote that Trump ad-libbed his lines during his speech that “we're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… and we're going to the Capitol,” and that this set off a scramble in the moment to figure out if Trump could feasibly make it to the Capitol.