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Key takeaways from Hutchinson’s dramatic testimony at Jan. 6 hearing

Trump said armed rallygoers were ‘not here to hurt me,’ Hutchinson says
Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as a top aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the House panel.

Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide to former President Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, dropped bombshells during riveting testimony, both in person and on videotape, Tuesday to the Jan. 6 committee.

She offered an inside view of key events at the White House surrounding the assault on the Capitol.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the hearing:

Trump knew rallygoers were armed

Trump was told about people carrying a variety of weapons being excluded from the crowd at his rally at the Ellipse before the insurrection at the Capitol, but he said he wanted them let in. He said he was not concerned because they were not there to harm him and could march to the Capitol later, she said.


Hutchinson said she overheard him say, “something to the effect of … They’re not here to hurt me. Let them in. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol after the rally is over.”

Trump wanted magnetometers — metal detectors — taken away to allow more people to attend the rally, despite the fact that people were armed.

”Take the f--ing mags away,” Trump said before he took the stage, Hutchinson testified.

Trump demanded to go to the Capitol and lunged at Secret Service agent

Trump intended to go to the Capitol himself, Hutchinson said. When aides and the Secret Service prevented him from doing so, Trump became enraged, tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine, and grabbed at the throat of a Secret Service agent, Hutchinson said, citing the accounts of those who were present.

Hutchinson said she was told that Trump was “irate” and said something to the effect of, “I’m the f--ing president. Take me to the Capitol now.”

White House lawyers were concerned

White House counsel Pat Cipollone did not want Trump to go to the Capitol.

On the morning of Jan. 6, Cipollone told her “something to the effect of ... we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen,” Hutchinson said. Cipollone had also warned against it on Jan. 3.


She said Cipollone mentioned the possibility of being charged with crimes such as obstructing the Electoral College count and inciting a riot.

Hutchinson also said she received a call from House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Jan. 6 after he heard Trump say in his rally speech that he would be going to the Capitol.

McCarthy, she said, told her, “Don’t come up here.”

Trump said Pence ‘deserved’ hanging

Trump refused to help his vice president, Mike Pence, whom rioters at the Capitol were threatening with hanging, saying Pence deserved it, according to Hutchinson’s testimony.

Hutchinson said that she witnessed a conversation in the White House while the rioting was underway in which Cipollone told chief of staff Mark Meadows, “We need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice president to be f--ing hung.”

Meadows responded to Cipollone, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong,” Hutchinson said.

Meadows said Jan. 6 could get ‘real real bad’

Meadows knew Jan. 6 could get “real bad,” Hutchinson testified.

She recounted walking Rudy Giuliani out of the White House on Jan. 2 after he had met with Meadows, and Giuliani asking her if she was excited about Jan. 6.

Hutchinson testified that she was puzzled and went back into the office and asked Meadows what it meant.

Meadows told her, she said, “something to the effect of there’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.”


Flynn invoked Fifth Amendment when asked if violence on Jan. 6 was justified

Retired general Michael Flynn, formerly Trump’s national security adviser, in videotaped testimony shown by the committee, invoked his right not to incriminate himself when asked if the violence on Jan. 6 was justified legally - or morally.

In questioning by committee vice chair Liz Cheney, he also took the Fifth on the question of whether he believed in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America.

Meadows and Giuliani sought pardons

Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested he was interested in receiving a pardon in relation to Jan. 6. Meadows also sought a pardon, Hutchinson testified.

“Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon. Yes, ma’am,” Hutchinson said in response to a question from Cheney.

Trump Cabinet members discussed using 25th Amendment to remove him

Trump Cabinet members discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove him, according to the committee.

Cheney said that the committee had learned that, after the Jan. 6 assault, members of Trump’s Cabinet had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment “as a way of stripping the full power of the presidency from Donald Trump.”

Hutchinson testified that she had received a call from Trump secretary of state Mike Pompeo who wanted to inform Meadows about the conversations among the Cabinet members.

“From what I understand it was more of a ‘This is what I’m hearing. I want you to be aware of it,’” call, Hutchinson said.

She said that Pompeo’s message was that “If conversations progress… you should be ready to take action.”


‘We are all in her debt,’ Cheney said of Hutchinson for testifying

The committee praised Hutchinson’s courage for speaking up.

“We are all in her debt,” said Cheney. “Our nation is preserved by those who abide by their oath to our Constitution. Our nation is preserved by those who know the fundamental difference between right and wrong.”

Cheney also said that the committee had received evidence of attempts made to pressure witnesses. “I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns.” She said the committee would be “carefully considering our next steps.”

Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, said he had a message for the “handful of witnesses who have been outliers in our investigation, the small number who have defied us outright, those whose memories have failed them again and again on the most important details, and to those who fear Donald Trump and his enablers: Because of this courageous woman and others like her, your attempt to hide the truth from the American people will fail.”

He said to those witnesses that if they change their minds about testifying, “Our doors remain open.”

Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com. Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.