As the months have gone by since Jan. 6, 2021, it’s become easy to grow jaded about the whole affair. We’ve learned so much about the details about what former President Donald Trump knew and did in the lead-up to the attack. With all the books written and articles reported, there was a very real question going into Tuesday’s last-minute Jan. 6 committee hearing: What witness testimony could possibly be shocking enough to warrant the hype that the surprise announcement sparked?
The thread that Hutchinson offered was one the committee had been criticized for not offering previously.
It turns out that there was no need for skepticism. Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old former aide to Trump's White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, blew the roof off of the committee room with her testimony. Hutchinson testified that her former boss seemed downright blasé toward the chance of violence on Jan. 6. She revealed that Trump was aware of weapons in the crowd he was addressing. She relayed how Trump, insistent on marching to the Capitol with the mob he'd whipped up, tried to grab the steering wheel from his driver. And she confirmed that Trump approved of the chants to “hang Mike Pence.”
The thread that Hutchinson offered was one the committee had been criticized for not offering previously. Most of the hearings so far have focused on the fact that Trump knew what he was saying about election fraud was a lie even as he pressured officials to reverse the results. Hutchinson showed that Trump was not only aware of the potential violence, he was encouraging it. As the panel goes into its final hearings next month, that point is likely one that will be made even sharper.