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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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.

1:15 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Rep. Cheney: Hutchinson's testimony is relevant to "future hearings"

Cassidy Hutchinson, left, and Rep. Liz Cheney
Cassidy Hutchinson, left, and Rep. Liz Cheney (Pool)

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said in an opening statement that Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony "touches on several important and cross-cutting topics, topics that are relevant to each of our future hearings."

"In her role working for the White House chief of staff, Miss Hutchinson handled a vast number of sensitive issues. She worked in the West Wing several steps down the hall from the oval office. She spoke daily with members of Congress, with high-ranking officials in the administration, with senior White House staff, including Mr. Meadows," she said.

Cheney said that Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, was "in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House."

Cheney said that Hutchinson has "already sat for four videotaped interviews with committee investigators."

"Again, our future hearings will supply greater detail, putting the testimony today in a broader and more complete context," she said.

1:24 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Cassidy Hutchinson gave four videotaped interviews to the Jan. 6 committee

(Pool)
(Pool)

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows who is testifying before the Jan. 6 committee, sat for four videotaped interviews prior to the hearing, said GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice-chair of the committee.

"Ms. Hutchinson was in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House. She has already sat for four videotaped interviews with committee investigators, and we thank her very much for her cooperation and for her courage," Cheney said at the beginning of the hearing.

1:18 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Jan. 6 committee details Cassidy Hutchinson’s proximity to top White House officials

From CNN's Zachary Cohen

Cassidy Hutchinson
Cassidy Hutchinson (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, established at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing that Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is among the most knowledgeable witnesses interviewed by the panel because of her close proximity to a variety of key players in the West Wing. 

Not only did Hutchinson work in the West Wing, “several steps down the hall from the Oval Office,” but also “spoke daily with members of Congress, with high-ranking officials in the administration, with senior White House staff, including Mr. Meadows, with White House Counsel’s office lawyers, and with Mr. Tony Ornato who served as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff,” Cheney said. 

“She also worked on a daily basis with members of the Secret Service who were posted in the White House,” she added. “In short, Ms. Hutchinson was in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House."

Hutchinson has already sat for four video-taped interviews with the committee, Cheney also noted.  

CNN previously reported that Hutchinson 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.

Hutchinson has named several Republican members of Congress who she said had inquired about pardons, either for themselves or others, around Jan. 6, 2021, 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.

1:16 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Thompson says Hutchinson embodies "courage" in testifying before Jan 6. committee

From CNN's Clare Foran

Cassidy Hutchinson arrives to testify on Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson arrives to testify on Tuesday. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Jan. 6 committee chair, argued in his opening remarks that Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, embodies "courage" in testifying before the panel today.

Thompson discussed efforts by the committee to obtain information for its investigation in toto the Capitol attack and said, "it hasn't always been easy to get that information because the same people who drove the former President's pressure campaign to overturn the election are now trying to cover up the truth about January 6."

He said, however, that "thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won't be buried, the American people won't be left in the dark."

"Our witness today, Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson has embodied that courage," Thompson said.

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.