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House Republicans aren’t yet done with Cassidy Hutchinson, Jan. 6

As Republicans drag Hutchinson’s Jan. 6 experiences back into the spotlight, the GOP doesn’t appear to appreciate the political risks it's taking.

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As the current Congress got underway early last year, and the new Republican majority in the House got to work, party officials quickly coalesced around a specific priority: There would be a new, GOP-friendly investigation into the Jan. 6 attack.

The endeavor would be led by Rep. Barry Loudermilk — a Georgia Republican who faced some awkward questions about a controversial Capitol tour the day before the riot — who told the public that he intended to determine “what really happened” on Jan. 6, indifferent to the fact that we already know what really happened.

More than a year after launching the probe, Loudermilk and his GOP colleagues on the House Administration Committee’s panel on oversight released a report on their findings, which was largely meaningless and broke no new ground. The document appeared designed to undermine the actual bipartisan Jan. 6 committee, but it failed.

For many reality-based observers, there were hopes that the Republicans’ underwhelming report marked the end of the pointless endeavor, but as NBC News reported, Loudermilk’s efforts are apparently still underway — and remain focused on a specific witness.

A GOP-controlled House committee investigating the special committee that probed the Jan. 6 attack and Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election sent a letter Wednesday to that panel’s star witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, asking her to hand over numerous communications with key Jan. 6 figures, as well as those related to her book deal.

Evidently, Loudermilk would like Hutchinson to turn over all communications — through this month — with a variety of key figures, including former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who served as the vice chair of the actual Jan. 6 committee. The NBC News report added that the Georgia congressman also asked Hutchinson “for communications related to ‘potential publishing or book deals or related compensation,’ as well as on employment after the White House; the 25th Amendment, which covers removing a president from power; and her itinerary for a trip to the Florida’s Gulf Coast in early 2021.”

It’s worth emphasizing that Loudermilk’s request came in the form of a three-page letter to Hutchinson, not a subpoena, though presumably such an escalation remains on the table.

The GOP’s report from March apparently tried to undermine public confidence in Hutchinson’s Jan. 6 testimony, insisting that she “substantially revised her story” and “significantly changed” her testimony over time. That was a lot less interesting than House Republicans seemed to realize: We already knew that Hutchinson was more forthcoming with investigators after she changed lawyers and was no longer represented by counsel who was being paid by Team Trump.

And yet the scrutiny is apparently ongoing.

Time will tell, of course, what becomes of this, but I continue to believe they’re taking an unnecessary political risk: The more Loudermilk and his team bring Hutchinson’s experiences back into the spotlight, the greater the dangers for Republicans.

This post updates our related earlier coverage.