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
22 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:12 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

NOW: Key former Trump White House aide is testifying

From CNN staff

(Pool)
(Pool)

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is testifying now before the Jan. 6 committee.

A source said Hutchinson brought forward new information in just the last 10 days, and she’ll be testifying to it today. 

Additionally, most of Hutchinson's interactions were over work email and phone, which were turned over to the National Archives. But she did use her personal phone as well for texts and emails, and those have been turned over to the committee. 

Hutchinson may not be a well-known name outside of Trump world, but she was an access point to the inside of it when Meadows was the former President's chief of staff. If lawmakers wanted to get in touch with Trump, they called Hutchinson, not the White House switchboard. When they had a message to push to Meadows, they rang Hutchinson, not the legislative affairs staffer, as reported by CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

The young aide was there for moments big and small in the final years of the Trump presidency and was so close to Meadows, she made calls for him, arranged his meetings and even used to lint-roll his suit jackets. At least six of her former colleagues that CNN spoke with said her testimony won’t be good for Trump or Meadows. One noted she was aware of Meadows’s activities “or lack thereof” on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Given that her testimony is not expected to be positive, Hutchinson has become increasingly concerned about her security in recent days. A person familiar with her situation said has obtained security in recent days.

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, a source familiar with the matter said, and the change in representation was a sign that she was more willing to cooperate with the committee.

1:10 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Rep. Thompson says Jan. 6 committee has obtained new information in past few days

Rep. Bennie Thompson
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Pool)

The chair of the Jan. 6 House select committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said the panel has "obtained new information dealing with what was going on in the White House on Jan. 6 and in the days prior."

Thompson said the committee has received "specific detailed information about what the former President and his top aides were doing and saying in those critical hours, firsthand details of what transpired in the Office of the White House Chief of Staff just steps from the Oval Office as the threats of violence became clear and, indeed, violence ultimately descended on the Capitol in the attack on American democracy."

"Thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won't be buried," he added.

1:03 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

NOW: The hearing has started

Cassidy Hutchinson enters the room for the House Select Committee hearing on Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson enters the room for the House Select Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Pool)

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack is now starting its sixth public hearing.

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is expected to testify, according to sources.

1:07 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Rep. Liz Cheney will lead the bulk of today's hearing

From CNN's Ryan Nobles

Rep. Liz Cheney delivers remarks during a hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol on June 21.
Rep. Liz Cheney delivers remarks during a hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol on June 21. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Three sources connected to today’s hearing told CNN that Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the Jan. 6 House select committee, will lead the bulk of today’s hearing and questioning. 

Other members, including Chair Bennie Thompson, will be involved, but Cheney is expected to be the main committee member asking the questions and directing the presentation.

Read more about the committee members here.

12:30 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Mark Meadows is on high alert ahead of today's hearing

From CNN's Gabby Orr

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows listens during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in April 2020.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows listens during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in April 2020. (Doug Mills/The New York Times/Pool/Getty Images)

Cassidy Hutchinson's proximity to Mark Meadows has put the former White House chief of staff on high alert ahead of today's hearing.

Hutchinson "operated like an executive assistant to him," said a source familiar with their relationship and her insight into his day-to-day schedule, conversations, and interactions with President Trump is unrivaled. 

"I think the committee has held their fire on Meadows so far but today's going to be a Meadows day," the source said. 

Meadows personally promoted Hutchinson to the White House Office of Legislative Affairs to his West Wing office, where this source said, "she was given enormous access and enormous visibility" into his relationship with Trump and several top GOP lawmakers. 

A second person familiar with the matter said Hutchinson received zero support from Meadows as she became entangled in the Jan. 6 committee's investigation but has remained in touch with some of his other aides.
Now, Meadows and his allies are worried that could come back to haunt him. 

They will be watching today's hearing closely to see what new information Hutchinson reveals in her sworn testimony, said the second source, who noted that Meadows is specifically concerned that her appearance could further strain his relationship with Trump.

Trump has privately complained to allies in recent months about text messages that Meadows turned over to the House panel before halting his cooperation, and a book Meadows wrote that contained startling new details about the severity of Trump's battle with Covid-19 also angered the former president. A person close to Trump said he is nervous about Hutchinson's testimony at Tuesday's hearing.

12:31 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Hutchinson's new lawyer Jody Hunt has his own history witnessing Trump's fury

From CNN's Jessica Schneider

Cassidy Hutchinson recently replaced her lawyer who had close ties to the Trump White House – Stefan Passantino – with longtime Justice Department attorney Jody Hunt, who left the Justice Department several years ago after serving for decades. Hunt was chief of staff for Trump’s first Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with Hunt later leading DOJ’s Civil Division as assistant attorney general from 2018-2020.

Hunt was cited several times in Robert Mueller's report – including from one of his recollections backed by contemporaneous notes when Trump declared, “I’m f---ed,” after hearing Mueller was named as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.

Hunt also had revealed to Mueller’s team that Sessions carried a resignation letter in his pocket every time he visited the White House since the President, by that point, had taken to criticizing and ridiculing Sessions in public at every turn.

CNN reached out to Hunt this morning. 

Hutchinson switched legal representation because she felt like Passantino maintained too close of ties to Trump world, multiple sources told CNN, adding that Hutchinson felt as if she could not be as forthright with the committee with Passantino as her lawyer. 

Hutchinson may speak to this during her testimony today. 

CNN's Kaitlan Collins contributed reporting to this post.

12:15 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Select committee members huddled in secure briefing room ahead of today’s hearing

From CNN's Ryan Nobles

Members of the Jan. 6 House select committee met this morning in the House secure briefing room in preparation for today’s surprise hearing. Meeting in a secure location like this is highly unusual for the committee, as most of the material they are dealing with is not considered classified.

A router familiar with the meeting said it was designed to get members up to speed on today’s testimony and did not include the questioning of today’s witnesses. 

However, the fact that they met in a location such as this could indicate that new information provided to the committee is classified in nature. It is also possible that what the public hears in today's setting from former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson may not be the sum total of what she has shared with the committee. 

12:25 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Trump blindsided by Hutchinson appearance and is concerned about her testimony, sources say 

From CNN's Gabby Orr & Pamela Brown

Former President Trump is bracing for an explosive day of testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide and assistant to chief of staff Mark Meadows who previously told the House select committee that Trump approved of rioters chanting violent threats against former Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Trump has previously denied reporting on Hutchinson's leaked testimony, claiming on his Truth Social platform earlier this month that he "never said, or even thought of saying, 'Hang Mike Pence.'" 

"This is either a made up story by somebody looking to become a star, or fake news!" he wrote at the time. 

But a person close to Trump said he is nervous about Tuesday's hearing, which will feature live testimony from Hutchison and "present recently obtained evidence," the committee announced Monday. Prior to the committee's announcement on Monday, this person said Trump was feeling triumphant amid back-to-back Supreme Court decisions protecting a right to conceal carry a gun and ending the constitutional right to abortion. 

"He definitely wasn't expecting a twist like this," said the person close to Trump. 

The former President and his allies are planning to cast Hutchinson as a junior aide who had little influence inside the West Wing, despite her proximity to both Trump and his chief of staff. Hutchinson served in the Office of Legislative Affairs prior to becoming a top aide to Meadows and was an eyewitness to several key episodes leading up to Jan. 6, in addition to witnessing some of Trump's real-time reactions that day.  

Trump is specifically concerned about what Hutchinson could say about his state of mind and response to the rioters on Jan. 6, said a second person close to him. 

Former Trump White House aides are also very curious to see what Hutchinson has to say in this upcoming surprise hearing, given her constant access to Meadows during key moments in the White House.

Meadows made Hutchinson his legislative aide even though she was only in her 20s when he was chief of staff, and she would accompany Meadows to Capitol Hill for his most serious meetings. Hutchinson was with Meadows "all the time,” one former White House official said. Another source added, “she had very close access to Meadows and Trump, so it will be interesting what she says.” 

One former White House aide said Hutchinson had a falling-out with Meadows in 2021. She was supposed to go to Mar-a-Lago as permanent staff but that never ended up happening. 

A person close to Hutchinson said she has testified to the committee for at least 20 hours detailing her time in key meetings at the White House as Trump and his allies tried to overturn the election results. So far, the committee has only played small snippets from all that testimony, so there is a lot more to learn from her today. As to why she’s doing this amid all the security concerns, this source says she “got caught up in this” as a young staffer in her early 20s and wanted to do the right thing.

Trump’s allies may try to dismiss her as a low-level staffer, but the bottom line is she was a special assistant to the President, senior adviser to Meadows, adviser for legislative affairs and she had visibility into operations, such as POTUS’ movements, schedule, and AF1 manifests. 

One source said “she was the consummate insider” and was on a first-name basis with most congressional leadership.

Another person added Trump will likely claim he doesn’t know her but she was in many key White House meetings with him.

12:11 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Cassidy Hutchinson obtains security amid concerns for her safety ahead of testimony, source says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Former President Trump’s orbit will be watching closely as one of the closest aides to his former chief of staff Mark Meadows testifies on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Cassidy Hutchinson may not be a well-known name outside of Trump world, but she was an access point to the inside of it when Meadows was his chief of staff. If lawmakers wanted to get in touch with Trump, they called Hutchinson, not the White House switchboard. When they had a message to push to Meadows, they rang Hutchinson, not the legislative affairs staffer. 

The young aide was there for moments big and small in the final years of the Trump presidency and was so close to Meadows, she made calls for him, arranged his meetings and even used to lint-roll his suit jackets. At least six of her former colleagues that CNN spoke with said her testimony won’t be good for Trump or Meadows. One noted she was aware of Meadows’s activities “or lack thereof” on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Given that her testimony is not expected to be positive, Hutchinson has become increasingly concerned about her security in recent days. A person familiar with her situation says has obtained security in recent days.