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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6:28 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

See texts that Meadows sent on Jan. 6

From CNN staff

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

CNN obtained 2,319 text messages that Meadows handed over to the Jan. 6 committee that were sent and received between Election Day 2020 and President Joe Biden’s inauguration, including more than 150 on Jan. 6, 2021.

Meadows’ texts, which he selectively provided to the panel, show that even those closest to former President Donald Trump believed he had the power to stop the violence in real time.

CNN has a minute-by-minute timeline of the notable text messages that Meadows sent and received on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, which have been verified by CNN. The texts include messages from former White House officials, Meadows associates and Republican members of Congress, as well as Trump’s oldest son. There are also numerous texts from reporters at news organizations such as The New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN.

Here are some exchanges mentioned during the hearing:

Read them all here:

3:34 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Meadows said that Trump thought Pence deserved chants calling for him to be hanged, according to aide

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

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said that she heard Meadows say that former President Trump did not think the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters were doing anything wrong and that Vice President Mike Pence deserved to face chants that calling for his hanging.

"I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, 'Mark, we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the vice president to be f---ing hung.' And Mark had responded something to the effect of, 'You heard it, Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.'"

"To which Pat said something, 'this is f---ing crazy, we need to be doing something more," and briefly stepped into Meadows' office," she continued. The Pat she is referring to is former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

Hutchinson said that was the moment she "understood there to be the rioters in the Capitol that were chanting for the vice president to be hung."

2:46 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Trump told Meadows to ask Michael Flynn and Roger Stone what was going to happen on Jan. 6, aide says

From CNN's Hannah Rabinowitz

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press as former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows listens in July 2020.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press as former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows listens in July 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The night before the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump instructed his chief of staff Mark Meadows to ask Roger Stone and Michael Flynn what was going to happen on Jan. 6, Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday.

Hutchinson, who was a top Meadows aide, said that Meadows called both Flynn and Stone that evening.

Meadows also repeatedly tried to go the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5, Hutchinson said, where Flynn and Stone, along with Trump allies John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, had set up a makeshift "war room." 

“I had made it clear to Mr. Meadows that I didn't believe it was a smart idea for him to go to the Willard Hotel that night,” Hutchinson testified. “I wasn't sure everything that was going on at the Willard Hotel, but I knew enough about what Mr. Giuliani and his associates were pushing during this period.”

“I didn't think that it was something appropriate for the White House chief of staff to attend or to consider involvement in,” Hutchinson added. “I made that clear to Mr. Meadows.”

Meadows eventually agreed to stay at the White House and call into a meeting with those at the Willard.

Stone and Flynn both attended the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 but are not charged with a crime. They both appeared before the select committee and repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment. 

Stone has been central to the criminal allegations against the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers. Stone had a protective detail made up of members of the Oath Keepers, a few of whom have been criminally charged with seditious conspiracy. In court filings, those members have argued that they were only in Washington to protect VIP rally attendees.

2:38 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Meadows told Cipollone that Trump didn't want to do anything about the Jan. 6 violence, aide says

(Pool)
(Pool)

Not long after the rioters broke into the US Capitol, former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone rushed into Mark Meadows' office demanding a meeting with former President Donald Trump, the former White House chief of staff's aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the Jan. 6 committee.

"I remember Pat saying to him something to the effect of, 'the rioters have gotten to the Capitol. We need to go down and see the President now,'" Hutchinson said in a videotaped interview.

"And Mark looked up at him and said, 'he doesn't want to do anything, Pat,'" she said.

Cipollone emphasized the need for action to control the situation to Meadows, Hutchison added.

She said Cipollone "very clearly said this to Mark — something to the effect of, 'Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood's going to be on your f-ing hands. This is getting out of control. I'm going down there."

Meadows then handed his phones to Hutchinson and walked out of his office with Cipollone, she told the committee.

2:32 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

"This is a bombshell": Trump aides left speechless by Hutchinson testimony

From CNN's Gabby Orr

Cassidy Hutchinson is sworn in to testify during a public hearing of the House Select Committee on Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson is sworn in to testify during a public hearing of the House Select Committee on Tuesday. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Aides to former President Donald Trump were left speechless amid the first half of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony on Tuesday, acknowledging to CNN that her testimony was "a bombshell" with potentially huge repercussions for Trump. 

"This is a bombshell. It's stunning. It's shocking. The story about the beast – I don't have words. It's just stunning," said one Trump adviser. 

"This paints a picture of Trump completely unhinged and completely losing all control which, for his base, they think of him as someone who is in command at all times. This completely flies in the face of that," the adviser added. 

The Trump adviser, who was in a group text chat with several other Trump aides and allies as the hearing played out, said that "no one is taking this lightly." 

"For the first time since the hearings started, no one is dismissing this," the adviser said. 

Another Trump ally told CNN the testimony from Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, would seal Meadows' fate as "persona non grata" to the former President. 

"This is one of the reasons [Trump] is furious with Meadows. He was already iced out but now he will be persona non grata," this person said. 

The startling revelations from Hutchinson's testimony about Trump's erratic behavior and state of mind on Jan. 6 could make it easier for Republican presidential hopefuls to challenge the former President in a primary should he run, the Trump ally added. 

"This is basically a campaign commercial for Ron DeSantis 2024," said the Trump ally.  

4:40 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Gen. Flynn takes the Fifth when asked if he believes in the peaceful transition of power, deposition shows

(Pool)
(Pool)

Cassidy Hutchinson testified that former President Trump asked her former boss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, to speak with Trump associates Roger Stone and Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump's onetime national security adviser, on the evening of Jan. 5, 2021.

She added that Meadows spoke with Stone and Flynn but she did not know what they discussed.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney pointed out during Tuesday's hearing that Flynn has appeared before the committee, at which time, "he took the Fifth Amendment," invoking his right against self-incrimination when asked about the events surrounding Jan. 6, 2021.

Cheney then played a portion of the video of Flynn's prior testimony in which she asked him if he believed the violence on Jan. 6, 2021 was justified. Flynn responded, "take the fifth."

In a follow-up question, when Cheney asked Flynn if he believes in "the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America," he responded, "the fifth." 

2:16 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

The hearing is back

The Jan. 6 committee is back after taking a short break.

2:16 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Trump shattered his lunch plate after learning Barr said election wasn't fraudulent, aide says she was told

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

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described former President Trump's angry reaction after former Attorney General Bill Barr said in an interview with the Associated Press that the Department of Justice had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud after the 2020 election.

Hutchinson testified that after learning about the interview Trump went down to the White House dining room and threw a plate against the wall, shattering it.

"Around the time that I understand the AP article went live, I remember hearing noise coming from down the hallway, so I poked my head out of the office, and I saw the valet walking towards our office. He had said, get [chief of staff Mark Meadows] down to the dining room. The President wants him. So, Mark went down to the dining room, came back to the office a few minutes later." 

She continued: "After Mark had returned, I left the office and went down to the dining room and I noticed that the door was propped open and the valet was inside the dining room changing the table cloth off of the dining room table. He motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantle and the TV where I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there's a shattered porcelain plate on the floor." 

Hutchinson said that the valet told her that Trump was "extremely angry" at Barr "and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing them to have to clean up." 

Hutchinson said she grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off the wall to help the valet out.

6:31 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Trump lunged at Secret Service and steering wheel when told he couldn’t go to Capitol, aide says she was told

From CNN's Clare Foran and Hannah Rabinowitz

Cassidy Hutchinson demonstrates President Donald Trump's actions inside the presidential limousine on January 6 as she testifies on Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson demonstrates President Donald Trump's actions inside the presidential limousine on January 6 as she testifies on Tuesday. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Cassidy Hutchinson testified during the hearing that she was told that former President Donald Trump became "irate" when informed by security that he would not be going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, because the situation was not secure.

And she testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol that he lunged to the front of his presidential SUV and tried to turn the wheel. 

Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on Jan. 6, 2021, repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol.  

According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the F’ing President. Take me up to the Capitol now.” 

Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “lunge” at Engel. 

Here's how Hutchinson described the President's anger at being prevented from going to the Capitol:

"Tony proceeded to tell me that when the President got in the beast he was under the impression from Mr. Meadows that the off-the-record movement to the Capitol was still possible and likely to happen, but that Bobby had more information. So as the President had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought they were going up to the Capitol and when Bobby relayed to him we're not, we don't have the assets to do it, it's not secure, we're going back to the West Wing, the President had a very strong, very angry response to that. Tony described him as being 'irate.' The President said something to the effect of 'I'm the F-ing President, take me to the Capitol now.'"

Engel and Ornato have both testified to the committee behind closed doors, but their statements have not been used in today's hearing.

Asked by CNN for comment about today's testimony regarding Trump allegedly lunging at his security detail and other claims about security on Jan. 6, a Secret Service spokesperson said the US Secret Service has "been cooperating with the Select Committee since its inception in spring 2021, and will continue to do so, including by responding on the record to the committee regarding the new allegations surfaced in today’s testimony."

CNN's Josh Campbell contributed reporting to this post.

Watch the moment from Hutchinson's testimony here.