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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6:31 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.

1:57 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Trump wanted to go to Capitol on Jan. 6 after Ellipse speech and sent Secret Service scrambling, logs show

From CNN's Zachary Cohen

Video footage shown by the House Select Committee shows President Donald Trump's motorcade leaving the rally on January 6, 2021.
Video footage shown by the House Select Committee shows President Donald Trump's motorcade leaving the rally on January 6, 2021. (Pool)

Former President Trump wanted to go to the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, following his speech at the White House Ellipse, much to the dismay of national security officials who were following the situation in real time and learned that the Secret Service was scrambling to find a way for him to go minutes before the violence began to escalate, according to National Security Council chat logs from that day that were revealed for the first time during Tuesday’s hearing. 

The NSC chat logs provide a minute-by-minute account of how the situation evolved from the perspective of top White House national security officials on Jan. 6, 2021. They also appear to contradict an account by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in his book in which he says Trump never intended to march to the Capitol.

“MOGUL’s going to the Capital … they are clearing a route now,” a message sent to the chat log at 12:29 pm on January 6 reads — referring to the former president's secret service code name. “They are finding the best route now.” 
“MilAide has confirmed that he wants to walk,” a 12:32 p.m. ET message reads. “They are begging him to reconsider.”
“So this is happening,” a message sent at 12:47 p.m. ET says. 

The chat logs also show how situation at the Capitol clearly began to escalate just before 1 p.m. ET as lawmakers gathered in the House chamber to count Electoral College votes and while Trump was on stage at the White House Ellipse – moments before he called for his supporters to march. 

“Capitol Police are now reporting multiple breaches in their anti-scaling fence,” a 12:57 p.m. ET message says.

“Capitol is now calling for all available to respond,” another message sent at 1 pm reads. “They have taken over the stage over there.”

Six minutes later, this message was sent to the NSC chat, but Trump’s plans remained unclear: “about to use non-lethal force at the Capitol.”

It was not until 1:17 p.m. ET that NSC officials knew Trump was in the motorcade and appeared to be headed back to the White House: “Looks like he is coming home for now.”

“Mogul in the Oval,” the final message, sent at 1:20 p.m. ET said. 

2:06 p.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Here's what Kevin McCarthy told Hutchinson as Trump told protesters to march to the Capitol

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is seen during a press conferenc June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is seen during a press conferenc June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert (Mary F. Calvert/Reuters)

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadow, told the Jan. 6 committee that she received a call from GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after former President Donald Trump told protesters at his rally to march to the US Capitol.

"I was still in the tent behind the stage, and when you're behind the stage, you can't really hear what's going on in front of you. So when Mr. McCarthy called me with this information ... he sounded rushed but also frustrated and angry at me," she said Tuesday. "I was confused because I didn't know what the President had just said."

When McCarthy relayed what Trump had just said, he accused Hutchinson of having lied to him.

"He then explained the President just said he's marching to the Capitol. 'You told me this whole week you aren't coming up here. Why would you lie to me?' I said, 'I wasn't lying to you, sir. We're not going to the Capitol.' "

"He said, 'well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don't come up here,'" she added.

Hutchinson said she assured him there were no plans to go to the Capitol and he pressed a little more, frustrated, but believed her ended the call.

She told the committee that she confirmed with White House official Tony Ornato that they weren't going to the Capitol and then let McCarthy know. "He didn't respond after that."

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.