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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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.

12:47 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

White House counsel during Watergate says Jan. 6 committee is "dealing with a very high historical standard"

John Dean, former White House counsel for President Nixon, tweeted that the Jan. 6 House select committee needs to deliver important information or risk hurting its credibility, saying there’s a “very high historical standard” set by the surprise witness who testified about former Nixon’s secret taping system during the Watergate hearings.  

Sources told CNN that today’s secrecy was necessary to protect the safety of a witness and that new precautions would be taken in the hearing room, including denying people their regular front-row seats. The committee also said it would present “recently obtained evidence” at the hearing but did not provide details.

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

12:37 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Here’s a timeline of how the Jan. 6 insurrection unfolded

From CNN’s Ted Barrett, Manu Raju and Peter Nickeas

(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol is set to lay out its findings during another public hearing. When and how the events occurred that day have been a key part of the committee’s probe. 

Supporters of then-President Trump breached the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, engulfing the building in chaos after Trump urged his supporters to protest against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes to certify President Biden's win. 

Here's how key events unfolded throughout the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after Trump’s speech: 

  • At 1:10 p.m. ET, while Congress began the process of affirming then-President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win, Trump encouraged his supporters to protest at the US Capitol. Despite promising he would join them, Trump retreated to the White House in his SUV and watched on television as the violence unfolded on Capitol Hill. 
  • Shortly after 1 p.m. ET, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers "traitors" for doing their jobs. 
  • About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police. Then-Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the chamber, he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes. 
  • An armed standoff took place at the House front door as of 3 p.m. ET, and police officers had their guns drawn at someone who was trying to breach it. A Trump supporter was also pictured standing at the Senate dais earlier in the afternoon. 
  • The Senate floor was cleared of rioters as of 3:30 p.m. ET, and an officer told CNN that they had successfully squeezed them away from the Senate wing of the building and towards the Rotunda, and they were removing them out of the East and West doors of the Capitol. 
  • The US Capitol Police worked to secure the second floor of the Capitol first and were seen just before 5 p.m. ET pushing demonstrators off the steps on the east side of the building.  
  • With about 30 minutes to go before Washington, DC's 6 p.m. ET curfew, Washington police amassed in a long line to push the mob back from the Capitol grounds. It took until roughly 5:40 p.m. ET for the building to once again be secured, according to the sergeant-at-arms. 
  • Lawmakers began returning to the Capitol after the building was secured and made it clear that they intended to resume their intended business — namely, confirming Biden's win over Trump by counting the votes in the Electoral College. 
  • Proceedings resumed at about 8 p.m. ET with Pence — who never left the Capitol, according to his press secretary — bringing the Senate session back into order. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement earlier on the evening of Jan. 6 that congressional leadership wanted to continue with the joint session that night. 

Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor that the "United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats." 

It took until deep in the early hours of Thursday morning (Jan. 7, 2021), but Congress eventually counted and certified Biden's election win. 

See the full timeline of events here. 

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

What to know about Trump’s election lies 

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

Throughout the 2020 campaign, former President Trump repeatedly lied about rampant voter fraud and claimed that the election would be “rigged” against him. He escalated this rhetoric after Election Day by falsely claiming victory, and continued pushing these lies after Biden became the projected President-elect.   

Trump’s campaign and his allies then filed dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits across the country, seeking to overturn the results, based on spurious fraud claims. Despite losing those lawsuits, Trump continued promoting these lies while pressuring federal, state, and local officials to help him stop the transition of power. These officials largely refused to help Trump with his plan.   

Trump repeated these lies during his Ellipse rally on Jan. 6, 2021, which helped spur the Capitol riot. Trump’s rhetoric inspired the majority of Republicans to believe that Biden did not win the 2020 election, according to CNN polling. Many of the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol also expressed this view.  

The Jan. 6 committee has released testimony from Trump advisers revealing that he was told shortly after the election that he lost – but he kept pushing ahead with disinformation and false claims about the election. Some academics and historians have dubbed this phenomenon as “the Big Lie.” 

12:26 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

New Jan. 6 committee information reveals how the night of the 2020 election unfolded inside the White House

From CNN's Sam Woodward

An image of Former US President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington on June 13.
An image of Former US President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington on June 13. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A prior hearing from the House Jan. 6 committee brought new information to light on what happened the night of the 2020 election inside former President Donald Trump's White House. 

Here's what we know: 

  • White House officials and advisers, including the Trump's family, were in attendance at an event on the residence side of the White House the night of the election. Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, both former White House senior advisers, detailed their presence to the committee. Kushner, who spoke via deposition tape, said that President Trump was in the upper level of the residence where he met with advisers while votes were coming in. 
  • While "apparently inebriated," according to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Rudy Giuliani pushed election fraud conspiracies to Trump that he would eventually use as a backing for the lie that he won. Trump's then-spokesperson Jason Miller told the committee in his deposition that "the mayor was definitely intoxicated" at the White House on election night. 
  • In a deposition tape, former Attorney General Bill Barr said Trump claimed election fraud "right out of the box on election night ... before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence." 
  • Bill Stepien, Trump's former campaign manager, recalled during a video clip played by the committee that Trump disagreed that it was too early to call the election and that he said, "they were going to go in a different direction." Kushner said he told the former President that if he were in his position, calling the election early " [was] not the approach I would take if I was you" 
  • Matt Morgan, the Trump campaign's general counsel, said in a videotaped deposition that after speaking with counsel after hearing about Rudy Giuliani's conspiracies about election fraud, it was determined that "the law firms were not comfortable making the arguments that Rudy Giuliani was making publicly." 
  • In the early morning hours of Nov. 5, Trump addressed the nation via video and falsely claimed victory. 
12:08 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

The committee is arguing Trump had a “seven-part plan” to overturn the election. Here’s what that means

From CNN's Dana Bash, Jake Tapper and Jeremy Herb

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol is seen during a hearing on June 9.
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol is seen during a hearing on June 9. (Jabin Botsford/Pool/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump had a "sophisticated seven-point plan" to overturn the 2020 presidential election over the course of several months, Jan. 6 committee vice chair Liz Cheney said, detailing how the panel plans to use its future hearings to tackle each part of the scheme. 

"On the morning of Jan. 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain president of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power," Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said in her opening statement during the panel's first prime-time hearing earlier this month. 

Cheney did not detail the specific points of the plan in her opening statement. She said that the rioters who breached the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by Trump's actions falsely claiming that the election was stolen from him. 

"President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said, echoing the statement she made in 2021 when she voted to impeach Trump. 

A committee source later provided CNN the following description of the "sophisticated seven-part plan:" 

"President Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election and prevent the transition of presidential power. 

  1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him. 
  2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims. 
  3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law. 
  4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results. 
  5. President Trump's legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives. 
  6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol. 
  7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol. 

These are initial findings and the Select Committee's investigation is still ongoing. In addition, the Department of Justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses, and has disclosed to date only certain of the information it has identified from encrypted communications and other sources."