If you’ve been paying attention, Tuesday’s surprise House Jan. 6 committee hearing featuring former Trump White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson might not have been a complete surprise.
Let’s be clear: Hutchinson, a former aide to then-President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, offered all sorts of jaw-dropping accounts of what she saw before, on and after Jan. 6 during Tuesday's hearing.
Here are just a few things she revealed:
- She testified that Trump knew attendees at his rally before the deadly Capitol riot were armed, told security not to take their weapons away, and then urged them to go to the Capitol. “They’re not here to hurt me,” she recalled Trump saying.
- She said Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent and physically tried to take the wheel of the presidential vehicle after the driver refused to take him to the Capitol, where rioters were on the attack. Hutchinson said a deranged Trump reached for the driver’s neck at one point.
- She said Trump threw his lunch, sending ketchup dripping down a White House wall, in December 2020, after then-Attorney General Bill Barr publicly stated there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Hutchinson’s testimony was stunning. It painted the most vivid picture yet of a tyrannical, defeated president on the outs, who stopped at nothing to try to keep himself in power. But as I said, this testimony shouldn't come as a complete surprise. Or, better yet, it shouldn’t be a surprise that 25-year-old Hutchinson was providing it.
Back in May, before the Jan. 6 public hearings began, committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., tipped the committee’s hand a bit to the press. In a Politico interview, Raskin said the committee was getting lots of helpful information from young staffers in the White House, and he explained why they were so essential to the Jan. 6 investigation.
“We are definitely taking advantage of the fact that most senior-level people in Washington depend on a lot of young associates and subordinates to get anything done,” he said.
“A lot of these people still have their ethics intact and don’t want to squander the rest of their careers for other people’s mistakes and corruption," he added.
I won’t speak to Hutchinson’s ethics (she did volunteer to work for Trump and Mark Meadows, after all) — but she unquestionably brought the goods on Tuesday.
The nature of most White House teams is that there are lots of young people who do lots of work for senior officials and are privy to their movements — including those of the president. One can only imagine all the things Trump staffers witnessed during his administration, which was uniquely corrupt and centered around Trump’s personal endeavors. Hutchinson’s testimony gave us a peek into all she witnessed. And if Raskin’s tip was the clue it seems to be, we can expect some more young, ex-Trump staffers to spill the beans on their former boss.