House January 6 Committee: Public Hearings – Day 6

This post and comment thread are dedicated to the House January 6 Committee hearings scheduled to begin Tuesday June 28, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

This hearing has been convened on short notice issued yesterday afternoon.

Please take all comments unrelated to the hearings to a different thread.

The hearings will stream on:

House J6 Committee’s website:

House J6 Committee’s YouTube page:

C-SPAN’s House J6 hearing page:

C-SPAN’s YouTube page:

Check PBS for your local affiliate’s stream: (see upper right corner)

Twitter is carrying multiple live streams (NBC, PBS, Washington Post, Reuters, CSPAN, Bloomberg):

Broadcast and cable network coverage TBD.

Twitter accounts live tweeting the hearing:

Marcy’s Twitter thread:

Brandi Buchman-DailyKos:

Scott MacFarlane-CBS:

Laura Rozen:

Chris Geidner:

If you know of any other credible source tweeting the coverage, please share a link in comments.

The witness scheduled for today’s hearing is:

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows

Hutchinson will appear today before the committee to “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony” and out of concerns for her physical safety, according to Punchbowl News’ newsletter.

Hutchinson also recently changed legal representation. Her lawyer had been Stefan Passantino who was connected to Trump; he has been replaced with Jody Hunt who in turn is connected to the Trump administration’s first attorney general, former senator Jeff Sessions. Hutchinson is reported to have become more cooperative with the committee once she changed attorneys.

~ ~ ~

Any updates will appear at the bottom of this post; please bear with any content burps as this page may be edited as the day progresses.

Again, this post is dedicated to the House January 6 Committee  and topics addressed in testimony and evidence produced during the hearing.

All other discussion should be in threads under the appropriate post with open discussion under the most recent Trash Talk.

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Side note:

According to Fox News’ Pergram in the Twitter thread above, Stenger had cancer.

Do note Stenger’s death has set off a lot of right-wing conspiracy trolling.

339 replies
  1. Ddub says:

    The committee abruptly scheduled a surprise hearing due to “sincere concerns” about Cassidy Hutchinson’s safety.
    Reported by Salon

      • wetzel says:

        RawStory has the headline: “Jan. 6 hearing secrecy due to ‘massive security threats’ related to Marjorie Taylor Greene: WaPo reporter ”

        The headline references the appearance of Washington Post reporter Jacqueline Alemany on “Morning Joe.” In the video, Alemany seems to get out ahead of her skies on actual evidence. She makes vague references to security threats and to the fact that Alemany’s testimony had revealed pardon seeking by Marjorie Taylor Greene. Maybe she and Salon were shopped the same slant on the committee’s secrecy by an inside source. That kind of thing has been known to happen.

              • SilverWolf says:

                And if she melts, like the ‘wicked witch of the west’, I will infer/posit that Margy Green has never bathed nor showered./:-\

            • John Lehman says:

              “ Double, double toil and trouble;
              Fire burn and caldron bubble.
              Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
              Then the charm is firm and good.”

      • Rayne says:

        Salon was repeating what sources told Punchbowl News. Why this came up now instead of previous witnesses…?

        • Tracy Lynn says:

          This was my thought wrt Shay Moss & Lady Ruby. No one mentioned concerns for their safety.

          • Carole says:

            I don’t know why, but I have noticed that every hearing ended with “until the Capitol Police have escorted the committee from the room.”

            Today, for the first time (I’m pretty sure) the recess and ending included the witness and Capitol Police.

          • Rayne says:

            Have to remember the entire government was hollowed out and many personnel left the White House. She was able to get into the WH because personnel were already thinning out in early 2020.

            Why just her? Might be the only one who wasn’t a Kool-Aid drinker *and* also brought on by Meadows as a backup of sorts. Trump might insist Meadows is under executive privilege but he might not have thought of Hutchison in that respect.

            Why now? The committee may be at the point where they have enough to screw Meadows to the wall and this is his last chance to come forward. In other words, she’s bait.

            • Rayne says:

              Whew. If Meadows brought on Hutchinson as a backup against Trump, he totally misread what she would bring to the table.

            • d4v1d says:

              Why now? I suspect because the politb… supreme court aborted the Constitution (and several womens’ rights) last week. And this also gets the headlines under control.

            • d4v1d says:

              My pub table answer to ‘why now?’ has everything to do with the politb… (oops, sorry) supreme court’s abortion of the Constitution last week. Many of her rights now terminated, she’s realized she’s disposable in trumpworld because of her gender; now she can show the boomers what millennial grit could look like. Bonus! The committee gets the headlines under control. No handwringing or white flags rom them either. (Boomer grit?)

              • d4v1d says:

                Sorry for the double post. I typed the first on an ipad and got an error message, so logged into a real computer instead and wrote a better (maybe?) version.

      • BrokenPromises says:

        Perhaps the fact that she changed lawyers and per the above became more cooperative generated some right wing rage directed at her. Perhaps her video testimony however brief in the prior hearing also generated or initiated that rage resulting in some threats directed her way. It is after all a big complex world out there and we see clearly from her live appearance before the committee *rump supporters are motivated by violence. Not having direct evidence of her circumstances I would be hesitant to leap to any conclusions.

          • Steven Smith says:

            Not that it will impress you, but the usual suspects on MSNBC did say that the level of protection available from the committee might not be enough; they said that she could have better protection if she was cooperating with DOJ. I suspect that she might have chosen to do that; perhaps the only “emergency” was that such cooperation might make it harder for her to be a part of the committee’s “dog and pony show” (to use your phrasing).

          • BrokenPromises says:

            Perhaps but these are historical events never before encountered in our nation. I am a US citizen and I appreciate hearing the events from the horses mouth, you know the person or persons actually there. It’s one thing to read the (inevitably slanted) and incomplete versions of reporters and another to hear and watch the delivery of a participant. I am not an all knowing clever attorney who has experience with direct govt involvement at least in the courts but I do have a right and a desire to know the truth. There are a lot less blanks to fill in when getting information this way. I do of course have to fill in blanks with your cynical shots across the bow, shots that I can only wait for history to reveal as appropriate – or not. So perhaps yours is the preening bullshit. I have no idea but I do know for a fact congressional hearings were the tool of taking Nixon down. I was here then. Were you?

            • Rayne says:

              Nixon-Watergate type hearings is what bmaz wants.

              There are many who prefer these hybrid hearings because we don’t have the ability to sit through +1000 witnesses and terabytes of video, photographs, texts, and emails produced as evidence.

            • bmaz says:

              Yes, indeed I was here, and there, for Watergate. So, pardon me, if I think the current gas does not add up. And your own reference to Watergate proves this has indeed been encountered before.

    • vicks says:

      “What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I’m on the right team … I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”

      The obvious question is “what transcripts?”
      Perhaps Trump reading transcripts of witness testimony is a bluff, but it makes me think that the “emergency” public testimony could be related to the news the committee will start turning over witness testimony and the control that goes along with it to the Justice Department as soon as next week

    • vicks says:

      If they are turning her testimony over to the DOJ would she then get federal protection?
      How much protection can the committee offer her?

      • bmaz says:

        The Committee cannot offer jack. And, if the Committee does not turn over all of their transcripts, they are the jackholes they appear to be.

  2. tinao says:

    Goodie, goodie it’s my day off! An oh yeah, in these times I’ll take Adam Schiff for a million Alex. : – ) WE need a prosecutor with no quams about politics, but stands for the law!

  3. Peterr says:

    From the NY Times:

    Until recently, [Hutchinson] had been represented by a former deputy White House counsel who was recommended to her by two aides to Mr. Trump. She then switched lawyers, to Jody Hunt, and her discussions with the committee about possibly testifying in public became more productive, according to a person briefed on the discussions who insisted on anonymity to discuss them.

    Sounds as if she realized that perhaps her interests were not quite as aligned with other aides to Trump and also that former Deputy WH Council.

    She’s only 25 years old (per Andrea Mitchell just now), but this whole thing has to have aged her tremendously, as it has taught her the ways of Washington.

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t know why she should trust someone tight with Jeff Sessions. She seems really naive about protecting her own interests.

    • BrokenPromises says:

      Fascinating to imagine the *rump administration as “the ways of Washington”. I think they would be a better fit in current Hungary.

        • BrokenPromises says:

          *rump not rump is how I write DJTs name because I do not want to write his given name. He does not deserve the ‘hits’ if that’s the right term for search results. I have zero respect for the psychopath as his niece defines him. It is an accident of his name that removing the first letter leaves a slang term. If I intended anything it wouldn’t be cuteness but insult that is apt as he is an ass.

  4. Rayne says:

    Driving me nuts trying to pull up Twitter live threads and TV network coverage because there’s been no coherent policy by media about how to cover these hearings.

    If you know of any Twitter accounts doing a thorough job of live tweeting, please drop a link in comments. Thanks.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL I think Meadows is trying to walk a narrow path avoiding Trump mobilizing his mob on Meadows’ ass on one hand and criminal exposure on the other. He’s turned over some materials requested by the committee but refused to testify. What will Hutchison tell the committee — that Meadows was completely involved or trying to surf the situation inside the White House in 2020?

        • Peterr says:

          My take after listening to all of this is that Meadows is not all that sharp when it comes to running an office, except that he found someone who was — Hutchinson — and made damn sure that she was aware of just about everything, so that she could make it all work.

          Which is great, until you start seditiously conspiring to do ugly stuff like inspire a mob to attack the Capitol, threaten to hang the vice president, and otherwise fail to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and . . . what’s the word? Oh yeah . . . domestic.

          • timbo says:

            Frankly, this really seems to be what this was about. He’d reached a level beyond his competency to manage and he brought this woman in to take credit make himself seem competent. Or maybe he was looking for a patsy without having much pat game.

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Exactly. From my couch I have deduced that Meadows is dumb as a post, has no overview, and is always trying to wiggle through his immediate situation somehow. It occurred to me that capable people like Hutchinson are the only reason this WH ever got anything done. Well, that and special interest groups.

            It also occurred to me as fitting that a woman is delivering this dispassionate, objective truth, a calm observer noticing everything while those around her desperately wag their dicks. I sort of like her even though she worked for Ted Cruz.

            It is hard to believe that the tweet against Pence was her first challenge to being proud of what they were doing. How did she feel about, “good people on both sides”? Oh well, she was an awesome witness.

      • Rayne says:

        I like HCR’s tweeting but for some reason she won’t thread them so I won’t link them. Too hard to follow for many folks who aren’t regular Twitter users.

    • fm says: newshour always runs the hearings live. They keep it up for a long time after to view as well.

  5. harpie says:

    1:02 GAVEL
    1:04 We have new info on what was going on in WH during 1/6/ and before
    1:05 HUTCHINSON has embodied that courage
    1:06 CHENEY
    We have heard from a lot of REPUBLICANS. HUTCHINSON is another Rep.
    – Several important and cross cutting topics
    – In a position to know great deal of what was happening in TRUMP WH

    1:09 THOMPSON
    Witness sworn in
    1:10 Questions about her background

  6. harpie says:

    1:11 HUTCHINSON: 2019 move to WH Office of Legislative Affairs
    1:12 March 2020 moved to MEADOWS
    1:13 map of west wing of WH
    -shows short distance from her office to Oval Office

    1:15 CHENEY
    1/2/21 evening MEADOWS GIULiANI mtg
    GIULIANI: “The sixth is going to be a great day” we’re going to the CAPITOL. It’s going to be a great day. Talk to Meadows about it…he knows. Trump will be there.

    MEADOWS: ‘Things might get real bad on 1/6/21″

  7. Ravenclaw says:

    I’m feeling for her. Last time you had three senior lawyers supporting one another; here is one very young woman exposed all alone. I can see why the committee was more concerned for her personal safety than that of some other witnesses.

    • fm says:

      Even as women are having their rights taken away they are still standing up risking their lives to save the country.

  8. harpie says:

    1:18 C: Conversation Dec 2020 with RATCLIFF
    1:19 C: What the administration knew BEFORE 1/6
    1:20 DONOHUE: emails “occupy federal buildings” “invading the capitol building”
    1:22 CP email: Congress itself is the target on the sixth

  9. Rayne says:

    Jesus. She’s going to have to watch her back for a very long time because the MAGA will be on her for this.

    Thinking now of Fawn Hall and Monica Lewinsky.

    • Arice says:

      Agree. Hope she’s on a plane somewhere safe and tranquil right after this hearing.

      Still waiting to hear what the “new info” is in this hearing, though. Ah… just heard it. This is confirmation of foreknowledge of weapons and other threats in the crowd of J6 events.

      • Rayne says:


        • Rayne says:

          He’s not on NPR’s list though the list hasn’t been updated since June 9. I wonder if he went to the Committee without a subpoena, only on a request or if he volunteered.

    • Fran of the North says:

      Indeed. At this point, the most extreme of those Maggots don’t even need dear leader to muse on what he thinks should happen. They anticipate and act. White Christo-Facists are indeed the most severe threat to our citizenry that exists today.

      That said, the coming orange eruption should be another hash of words and emotions that psychologists will be unpacking for decades.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      She’ll be in deeper trouble if DeSantis wins the presidency. He would not use a single federal resource to protect her and anyone like her.

  10. harpie says:

    1:23 O’Brien called about potential violence
    1:24 mtg on 1/4 MEADOWS /ORNATO potential violence
    1:25 Select committee has learned all the weapons
    C: talking about all the weapons in DC on 1/6
    we are hearing police reports
    1:28 meeting 10 am 1/6 MEADOWS / ORNATO about weapons [knives, spears, flagpoles]

  11. harpie says:

    1:33 Q: Who was furious? A: PRESIDENT
    Angry about extra space at rally…not full
    She heard comments in tent – he wanted it full and was angry they weren’t letting people in with weapons.
    TRUMP: “Let the people in. Take the f’ing mags away”
    1:35 TRUMP: “They’re not here to hurt me.” “They can march to the CAPITOL after rally’s over” [In the tent? Yes. two to three minutes before he took the stage]

    1:37 TRUMP speech: “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol…I’ll be there”

    • Eichhörnchen says:

      The look on Liz Cheney’s face as she suggested reflecting on these words, then repeated them, emphasizing “they’re not here to hurt *me*”, is priceless.

      Also, why were these people sitting in the trees with weapons they were prohibited to carry in DC not confronted?

    • harpie says:

      1:31 PM

      Hutchinson testifies that Trump was “fucking furious” because his crowd didn’t look big enough on January 6 and didn’t care that his supporters had weapons because they weren’t there to hurt him [VIDEO]

      1:34 PM

      Hutchinson testified that Trump was not concerned on January 6 about his armed supporters possibly marching on the Capitol — he knew they didn’t want to hurt him and was primarily concerned about how large his crowd appeared on TV [VIDEO]

      • harpie says:

        Ryan Goodman, responding to this:
        1:42 PM · Jun 28, 2022

        Crucial testimony. Devastating.

        18 U.S. Code § 2383: “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States.”

        Trump says armed supporters can march on Capitol. Then tells crowd to march, fight like hell.

        • bmaz says:

          Meh, I think Ryan is overplaying this. And still think it silly to charge incitement and Trump would still have a very decent free political speech argument in defense. It adds nothing to the more straightforward obstruction and conspiracy charges should they be made. Why muddy it up when it adds nothing to the penalties in the other possible counts? Keep in mind that the same fact set in all make it certain that any sentence would be concurrent, not consecutive, so incitement adds nothing and just mucks up the better charges.

  12. harpie says:

    1:40 ORNATO wanted you to tell Mr. MEADOWS. MEADOWS was in a control car talking to someone on the phone…he would not talk to her. 25 minutes later she finally got to talk to him.

    Meadows had “almost a lack of reaction”

    1:41 C: TRUMP had something else in mind.
    1:42 HERSCMANN and WH Counsel office were asking changes to rhetoric
    1:43 C: TRUMP was NOT speaking metaphorically
    Describes presidential movements
    OTR a way to circumvent more formal moves

    • harpie says:

      1:44 regarding TRUMP wanting to go to CAPITOL
      CH brief mtg with CIPOLLONE’s concerns on 1/3 Please talk to MEADOWS

      1:46 CIPOLLONE: “We’ll get charged with every crime imaginable.”

    • Beth H says:

      I wonder who Meadows was talking with in the car that was so important. Wonder if the Jan 6 committee has the call records to see who was on the phone then

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; you commented last as “Beth in VA.” It’s been a while, you may have forgotten. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • fm says:

        Could be that Meadows was talking to Stone, Bannon, Guiliani and others in the “War Room” at the Willard. I believe Hutchinson mentioned this during todays testimony.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump wanted security teams to remove magnetometers – which had already found sidearms, at least one AR-15 (both illegal in DC), knives, batons, brass knuckles, etc. – because his supporters “were not there to hurt him.” Trump’s narcissism is well known. But he knows how to use the English language when it suits his purpose. He’s also prone to the Freudian slip.

    Goes toward proving Trump and Meadows’s intent. Ms. Hutchinson is likely to need to enroll in witness protection.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Thinking back on Cheney’s final comments about unnamed individuals communicating with witnesses…Was that likely a warning to those unnamed to keep their hands off this particular witness?

  14. Leoghann says:

    Meadows’ habit of insisting Hutchinson be with him at any and all meetings may not be working well for him. But it has imparted a strong appearance of composure and professionalism in her that comes across well.

        • Peterr says:

          And once it doesn’t, asking for a pardon doesn’t seem all that bad a strategery. “If I don’t get one, I’m screwed anyway, so I might as well ask.”

      • gmoke says:

        Meadows registered to vote in three states, I understand, and voted from an address in NC where, it seems, he’d never been. His arrogance has certainly put him in legal jeopardy on a variety of different fronts.

  15. harpie says:

    1:47 TRUMP wants to go to CAPITOL in days before…aides speaking

    1:48 Secret service tried to rally chat log
    1:50 McCarthy called CH when he heard TRUMP at rally about going to CAPITOL; accuses her of lying to him. [!]
    1:52 Plans for TRUMP to CAPITOL WHAT would he do once there?
    – Going into House? Another speech?

    • Savage Librarian says:

      This is what Ruth Ben-Ghiat said in an interview after the first J6 hearing:

      “It’s interesting, what came out recently, is Trump was trying to get to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He couldn’t get there. This is consistent, if you’re having a coup and summoned everybody and you expect to be anointed as the head of a new illegitimate government, you have to be there,” she explained. “There’s a phase in coups. They’re violent, quick, and then you have the pronouncement of the new order. That’s why he was trying to get there.”

      • DoubleDeens says:

        The Jan. 6 White House photoshoot supposedly arranged for Melania to document her interior decor has always sounded phony to me. I’ve wondered for a while if the plan was to take photos of a coronation from the White House.

    • Eureka says:

      To “claim” “it”, in grandiose fashion. Right after the attack I expressed a visual of this — wish had an illustration — of Trump in the Rotunda (or centered in a similar grand, open space — spaces, really, he’d take genuflection everywhere) with his hands raised, palms up — but gesturing upon himself. Like the opposite of any illustration of Jesus (with arms raised to the Father or to embrace the people).

      It was my belief then that he(‘d) wanted to enter the Capitol after the Capitol had been taken — to take “it” for himself, to bask. [“It” being everything he could consume.] [This is what we get with Unitary Executive enablers x Narcissist Executive Nonpareil]

    • harpie says:

      1:46 PM

      Cheney plays a montage of a range of former White House officials testifying that Trump in fact planned to march along with his supporters to the Capitol on January 6 [VIDEO]


      Hutchinson testifies about a call she had with Kevin McCarthy on January 6 where McCarthy berated her and urged her to prevent Trump from coming to the Capitol [VIDEO]

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    WHC Pat Cipollone worried that had Trump gone to the Capitol – as de facto leader of a mob he had repeatedly been warned was probably armed with illegal weapons – he could be liable for obstruction and interfering with the electoral vote count. I guess that’s one reason Cipollone has not been a witness for the Committee.

  17. Fran of the North says:

    CH is a credible witness and LC is doing her best to use this live and recorded testimony to pin Trump to the wall.

  18. harpie says:

    1:53 What happened in car when they told him?
    ORNATO: TRUMP had been under the impression [from MEADOWS] he would be going to the CAPITOL
    TRUMP had strong, angry, irate reaction
    TRUMP grabbed for steering wheel.
    TRUMP lunged toward ENGEL’s clavicles.

    1:56 MCENENY re: TRUMP wanting to go to CAPITOL
    He blamed MEADOWS

      • BrokenPromises says:

        I’m certain that was genuine rage and it’s backed up later with reports of throwing food tantrums.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump lunged at the steering wheel of his motorcade car – and the clavicle of a staffer in the car with him – because he was not being driven to the Capitol. “I’m the fucking President!” That is, drive me where I fucking tell you to drive me. Proving criminal intent seems to be moving toward being a slam dunk..

    That staffer was the head of his Secret Service detail. That might be the first time a President has done that since the formation of the Secret Service

  20. harpie says:

    1:59 C: Physical altercation was not the first time TRUMP had gotten angry about election
    re: BARR announcement TRUMP threw a porcelain plate with ketchup /lunch against wall.
    2:01 There were other times TRUMP grew angry and destructive.

    2:02 THOMPSON: 10 minute recess

  21. Arice says:

    I like this but I’m having a hard time imagining how the president grabs the steering wheel from his seat in the back of a giant limo. Did he lunge over the jump seats? That would be WILD.

    • RMD says:

      take another look at the SUV called “the Beast”….it is not a ‘giant’ (stretch type) limo


      The best reference to a visual of the vehicle shown during the hearing was identical to the vehicle seen in the clip [above]….While it wasn’t the official Cadillac presidential limousine dubbed “the beast,” he rode in one of the heavily modified Chevrolet Suburban SUVs that are typically part of the president’s motorcade. Most likely it was a Secret Service unit or perhaps what is used as a lead vehicle.

      [fixed, thanks much. /~Rayne]

      • Arice says:

        All the presidential vehicles are called “The Beast” but you are correct that he was in the SUV that day. Thanks! Makes it much more credible.

      • RMD says:

        I have provided a screen capture of CBS News’ video footage of the Jan 6, 2021 Presidential motorcade, showing the “beast” referenced in testimony today, here:

        [ https (colon) //www.ray-macdonald (dot) com/History/Jan6-related/

    • Leoghann says:

      If you can remember the black Suburban that hauled 45 around the hospital parking lot (his own superspreader event), that was “The Beast.” He sometimes rides in the front passenger seat.

      • Tom says:

        Then there was that other superspreader event where he spread his cheeks for his colonoscopy.

        • BrokenPromises says:

          Being a serial colonoscopist (made up word duh) I don’t know why I laughed so hard but honestly I think Donnie is best defined by what gets removed in a colonoscopy in particular when it’s a malignant mass.

        • RMD says:

          Man, you should get a technical for that, AND a flagrant foul….
          I can’t finish my lunch now

  22. Rayne says:

    I’m short of words for this. We didn’t hear about Trump attacking his Secret Service personnel though Barr did imply Trump was violent in his reactions.

    • Arice says:

      Imagine how convinced of your own impunity you have to be that you’ll physically attack a Secret Service agent.

      • Rayne says:

        Or possibly how lost to behavioral challenges related to frontotemporal dementia, enabled by family and employees unwilling to address it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It pays not to give the people who protect you a reason to be a little slow on the job.

    • Legonaut says:

      This is the joker who deliberately exposed his detail to COVID so he could motor around & wave at people. As I understand it from past Presidents, the Secret Service details are highly respected by their principals.

      Not this guy.

    • Eureka says:

      This is yet another reason why I’ve always disbelieved Michael Cohen’s testimony to the effect that no, Trump would never treat Melania that way. He treats everyone that way (as alleged, e.g. by/re Ivana; Jr.; many dozens of women; …). Ivanka, a couple few hearings ago, while trying to isolate or make special Trump’s incident of anger, effectively admitted that she, too, “knows” that side.

      As with, it seems, every last one of Trump’s inner circlers, we know that Cohen withheld a lot while sharing some substantive bits. [And Cohen protesteth much on that point.*] Also, that Melania may have had more power over Trump than had some of his other mates might have spared (exposure to) more routine abuse(-iveness) — along with reported separate quarters. But same would seem to have been a source of extra rage for someone with Trump’s alleged and observed characteristics.

      *vaguely recalling him making some kind implicit of Madonna-Whore argument

      • Rayne says:

        There’s something weird about Trump’s relationship with Melania — and I don’t mean that it’s what the French used to call a “divorce in place.” She is just plain nasty, and I don’t think his two previous wives were anything like this. Perhaps Cohen is sincere because of whatever this dynamic is between Trump and Melania. Does she know enough about his criming that she has him by the short hairs and he dare not fuck with her? There’s a good chance she knows enough about Trump Model Management to hold over his head if it was deep into human trafficking, and perhaps she’s the plant Putin has used to keep Trump on a short leash.

        Cohen being of the testosterone-endowed class may not readily see some abuses the way potential targets might, which could also skew his perception. And then there’s the possibility Cohen is compromised, too, and dare not say anything about Melania wrt any abuse.

        • Eureka says:

          Indeed. It’s a situation with a lot of complex variables x multi-directional relationships.

          And I think she was (is) his mommy issues personified — that was one way she walked in the door — and so wields power over him in that cruel, unique way. Weighing all that, I had come to lean that she knows of that side (like all his handlers/assessors, and with him generally chained out / staked at a distance) but that he couldn’t have helped but tried her, if once or rarely [where’s the fly on the wall for any such instance …]. [Besides, as we are discussing but which some may not register as you note, that dudes throwing shit and otherwise raging constitutes an abusive, controlling milieu in an of itself.]

          I imagine we’ll only find out if Cohen was missing cues, lying to himself, or lying to us (if even to protect her ‘honor’) should Trump’s usefulness expire / the operation turns and she makes any public accusations (assuming she’s yoked, too, and that she or any overlords would find such behavior on _her_ part to be useful). Then he might speak up in corroboration, if applicable. Unfortunately I’m thinking the extended Trump clan is the gift that keeps on giving — too many ready-to-go spawn, too many interested trans-national sponsors — so such a day is unlikely.

          It was something in Cohen’s tone of voice, his reflexive denial, where I felt he was “protecting” her or “the relationship” in a way that many men who see things behind closed doors tend to speak. Very Italian, or instead, generally [ethnic] patriarchal mob-like. Like he had to acknowledge Trump’s infidelity at that point only in an attempt to save his own hide: otherwise (and previously), back-bending omerta.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I wonder how many people inside the Beltway knew all this and kept shtum for the past year and a half.

    I also wonder how long it took White House valets to clean the residue of Trump’s Big Macs after he repeatedly through them at the wall when angry. He’s always angry.

    • BrokenPromises says:

      Speaking of the valet I would love to see his (or their as you state) corroborating testimony on his anger outbursts. While these have little to do with criminal charges other than intent as mentioned by earlofhuntington it does speak to being unfit to serve if (G forbid) he runs again.

  24. Leoghann says:

    On day 5, the committee very effectively conveyed just what a despicable opportunist Jeffrey Bossert Clark was. Today, they are doing just as well presenting how out of control and childish 45 was, and most likely still is.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Being childish and out of control are among Trump’s defining characteristics. They are permanent parts of his psyche.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump “hardly knew her.” For Trump, that’s an admission of guilt and that he knew her well.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Whenever Trump says “I hardly know who this person is”, we all know what that really means.

    • Rugger9 says:

      It also doesn’t mean “she wasn’t in the room” either, which is the salient point here. She was there and heard stuff because she was there.

    • Peterr says:

      Trump can’t believe that a (1) kid who is (2) female and (3) held a minor job is talking out of school. “Doesn’t she fking know that The Help do not ever talk?”

      This from a guy who tried to manhandle the head of his protection detail.

      To which Hutchinson says (1) I’m old enough to know right from wrong, (2) I am more than the equal of anyone else at the WH, and (3) if my job was so minor, why did Meadows include me in so much of what was happening?

  25. pdaly says:

    Trump grabbed at Engel’s clavicles?
    Is this a euphemism for ‘Trump lunged at Engel’s throat’?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump might have been trying to reach around and pat him on the back, to thank him for keeping him in check. It’s also possible that immediately afterwards, Donald took a knee and asked everyone in the limo to join him in prayer. Neither seems likely.

      • pdaly says:

        Yes, that!
        And here I was thinking it was merely a reflection of ‘big plans, small hands.’

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        I mean, according to his lawyer, a couple of pats on the back is a major assault that requires calling the police…

      • dadidoc1 says:

        It was a Trump presidential reach around. Just showing his affection for the Secret Service agent.

  26. harpie says:

    2:16 CHENEY
    Let’s talk about MEADOWS communications on 1/5

    2:18 on 1/5 evening TRUMP asked MEADOWS to call STONE and FLYNN
    Both calls completed

    [MEADOWS wanted her to arrange for him to go to WILLARD to see GIULIANI /ASSOCIATES]

    2:20 FLYNN taking fifth
    Cheney to FLYNN: do you believe the violence on J6 was justified?
    Do you believe in the peaceful transition of power? FIFTH

  27. Tom says:

    Watching PBS coverage. Female reporter (sorry, but can’t think of her name at the moment) says she’s texted Republican congresspeople to get their reaction to Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony. Reporter says GOPers tell her they’re not watching the hearing, but respond to the effect of, “Why, what are we missing?”

    • Rayne says:

      LOL they’re missing the background behind future indictments of GOP members of Congress.

      Typical, though, like missing the degradation of women’s human rights.

    • LizzyMom says:

      They’re glued to their seats. Which, for a number of them, are oval and mounted on a porcelain base.

      There is absolutely no way that they are not watching this hearing. This is just whistling past the graveyard. And this time, ghosts of coup and insurrection past are coming for them.

      • fm says:

        That’s what I think too. They just say they aren’t so as to give an excuse not to answer reporters question.

  28. harpie says:

    2:22 talk about J6
    2:OO or 2:05 MEADOWS on cell phone did not come out of office
    MEADOWS said TRUMP wants to be alone, hasn’t spoken to him.
    CH had the feeling of watching a bad car accident happening.
    2:25 just after rioters got in to CAPITOL:
    CIPOLLONE barraeling to MEADOWS office [MEADOWS still on phone]

  29. Molly Pitcher says:

    Michael Flynn takes the Fifth over whether he believes in the peaceful transfer of power in the United States.

    • Fran of the North says:

      This from a guy whose entire military career was predicated on an oath to “will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

      • Rugger9 says:

        Lt Gen. Flynn’s untouchable on that score unless the Army does something. Since he’s retired, the Army would have to haul him back to the active list (even though he’s over 60) and depending on the circumstances revealed in the future hearings, etc., the Army just might do it.

        However, it’s clear Flynn violated his oath and FWIW not just in this case.

        • Fran of the North says:

          The military has any number of albatrosses. This one however is easily rectifiable. Flynn’s actions besmirch every retired officer, no matter the branch. The brass are generally extraordinarily bright and perceptive.

          Inaction sends as strong a message as action.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          TFG’s reprehensible behavior is a given, he is disgusting. I cannot believe my visceral reaction to Flynn taking the Fifth over the transfer of power.

          My ancestors have fought for the United States in every major war since the Revolution; both sides in the Civil War. It brings tears of rage to hear Flynn say this.

          Strip him of his pension.

          • Peterr says:

            I suspect there are DOD lawyers looking at that very thing.

            I wonder: do they ever televise court martial proceedings?

            • Rugger9 says:

              Not usually. This would be a GCM because of Flynn’s rank and what would be needed to strip him of his pension. If we have JAGs in the audience, it’s a question they can answer more completely but IIRC Flynn has to be ‘Dismissed’ which correlates to a Dishonorable Discharge for enlisted.

              The questions are whether the Army considers this event to be serious enough (I am sure they do) and whether they can summon Flynn back to the active list which is why I mentioned he’s over 60. Unless he’s a five-star (he’s not) something has to be done within the regulations to permit this callback action.

              In some ways this is like what happens for an enlisted man who gets (and fails) a whiz quiz right before he re-ups but the results don’t come back until after he re-enlisted. It happened to one of my guys, and because he was untouchable for the drug rap under the UCMJ I gave him a doomsday review to put in his service record so he would never be promoted again. I hope he enjoyed his four years knowing he’d be at E-5 forever. The E-4 busted with him lost his crow and got a ‘big chicken dinner’.

  30. Justaguy says:

    She is just a 25 year old young woman. A “coffee girl.” So what if she is here while we plot and scheme? I bet Mark Meadows wishes he could go back in time! She might be the only person in this saga who emerges with her dignity intact and solid job prospects.

  31. Ravenclaw says:

    Meadows to Cipollone: “He doesn’t want to do anything, Pat.” (with reference to the rioters then investing the Capitol)

    • Riktol says:

      All that it takes for evil to triumph, is for mediocre men to play with their phones rather than push back.

      Hutchinson’s testimony portrays Meadows as sedentary and inactive. I wonder if that was in contrast to his normal behavior, or whether he is normally like that. If the latter, I wonder whether he was chosen by Trump because he was easy to overrule.

      • Rayne says:

        We should take bets on what Meadows was doing with his phones because I seriously doubt he was playing with them. Rather he was coordinating communications with the insurrections’ co-conspirators.

        • Bill Crowder says:

          Combine that with shutting Ms. Hutchinson’s being shut out of his limo two times makes that inference strong as hell.

          • timbo says:

            Fielding Roger Stone’s calls during Stone’s so-called “nap period” during insurrection no doubt.

        • Peterr says:

          At least at one point, he was waiting for a call back from Jim Jordan, and Jordan wasn’t replying.

          I’m picturing a teenage boy who asked a girl to prom and she said “I’ll call you back to talk about it in a little while.”

  32. Rayne says:

    “Both of his phones” she said. He was using a burner and a government issued phone while the WH Counsel told him something had to be done to avoid bloodshed.

    Jesus. I don’t think Meadows can dig his way out with a front end loader.

    • Rugger9 says:

      That’s really important, because the only reason for having a burner is to hide his involvement.

      It was also interesting that she enumerated the attendance by name for the video kicked out on J6 by Individual-1. I guess this confirms many other reports about who was around.

      • Rayne says:

        I can’t recall if we confirmed if one of the burner phones Kremers — purchased while they were doing the Women for America tour to drum up attendance at the Jan 5-6 rally — was given to someone in the White House, like Meadows.

    • harpie says:


      12/28/20 [As alleged by Scott Johnston to the J6 Committee] [Johnston worked as an aide and driver to Kylie Kremer- the executive director of Women for America First] Kylie KREMER directs JOHNSTON to buy three burner phones so that she could “communicate with high-level people.” [alleged call between 12/29 and 12/31]

      [between] 12/29 and 12/31/20 [As alleged by Scott Johnston] Johnston overhears a conversation between MEADOWS, PIERSON and K. KREMER [the executive director of Women for America First] during which they discussed a possible permitted J6 march from the Ellipse to the Capitol, but decide against it. [RS: Ultimately, Johnston tells Rolling Stone, they planned to “direct the people down there and make it look like they went down there on their own.”]

  33. Nick Caraway says:

    Trump throwing his lunch at the wall and staining the wall with ketchup when he heard about Barr’s AP interview re no significant election fraud. Who knew that Trump aspired to turn WH into his own Jackson Pollock style drip painting?? His next “innocent” explanation for his conduct, lol.

    Flynn needing to take the Fifth when asked if he believed in a peaceful transfer of power. I’m shocked but not surprised. Sheesh.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Easier than trying to explain the exceptions to the rule, which Flynn believes would justify the use of an armed mob to prevent such a peaceful transfer of power.

    • Justaguy says:

      I suspect his 1st grade teacher commented that “ Donald does not share with others and is disruptive in class.”

      • BrokenPromises says:

        There was an article years back (2015 after announcing election run?) that he assaulted a teacher somewhere between K and grade 2 as I recall.

  34. harpie says:

    Conversation about Hang Mike Pence chants
    2:28 MEADOWS: you heard it. TRUMP thinks PENCE deserves it.
    2:30 CHENEY:
    TRUMP: “Mike deserves it. Those rioters weren’t doing anything wrong”
    2:30 2:24 PM Tweet [Pence does not have the courage]
    2:30 2:24 PM Tweet [Pence does not have the courage]
    Frustrated, disappointed, it felt personal, as an American I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. Capitol building being defaced over a LIE.
    2:32 Reactions by other WH staff
    2:33 Pottinger resigns

  35. Makeitso says:

    It is amazing how many people Trump and/or his minions hired that he now calls coffee getters, liars, and hanger=ons..people he HARDLY knew…

    At this point he may as well not have even been president…

    • Cool Xenu says:

      TOP men!

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  36. harpie says:

    2:34 3 different camps of thought in the WH that day
    1] Strong pleas to take action: WOCounsel, Ivanka
    3] Deflect and blame: MEADOWS

    2:38 re: IVANKA
    CHENEY: We have evidence of many people imploring TRUMP to tell people to go home.
    2:40 MCCARTHY on J6.

  37. harpie says:

    2:41 4:17 PM tweet Go home; we love you. You’re very special.
    In future hearings we will show that TRUMP was very reluctant to put this message out.
    2:43 HANNITY messages
    2:43 25th Amendment being talked about among Cabinet
    2:44 CH: on 25th Amendment talk
    2:45 PHILBIN drafts for 1/7 speech for TRUMP
    TRUMP did not agree with substance as drafted

  38. Makeitso says:

    Does the fact his cabinet thinks he was crazy may affect whether he had criminal intent.

    • Rayne says:

      Cabinet members’ discussion of the 25th Amendment may only have examined Trump’s inability to discharge powers of his office.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Under the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 184 (passed after the attempted assassination of President Reagan and the assailant’s acquittal under existing law), the burden of proof was shifted to the defendant. That is, someone seeking acquittal by reason of mental disease or defect must establish clear and convincing evidence that they could not discern right from wrong or realize that what they did was wrong. (Not a lawyer and ready to be corrected, but as a psychologist I’ve encountered this.) The following URL is broken but easily reconstructed. https: colon slash slash www dot law dot cornell dot edu/uscode/text/18/17

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The moderators may disagree, but I would think a link to Cornell Law is presumptively OK.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, no, that is always good. I’ve actually donated to Cornell on that, what they provide is really good.

  39. harpie says:

    2:47 TRUMP wanted to potentially pardon the rioters. The person who did something wrong that day was PENCE
    2:49 TRUMP delivers speech on 1/7 TRUMP could not bring himself to say that the election was over. Meadows was encouraging pardon idea.
    2:50 RUDY, MEADOWS were interested in PARDONS
    2:51 THOMPSON

  40. harpie says:

    2:51 CHENEY thanks CH
    We have received evidence of a practice which raises a concern.
    People asking others about what they’ve said will say
    He knows you’re loyal and will say the right thing
    WITNESS tampering

    Says Committee is still open to hear from others who may have found their courage after listening to CH today.
    2:56 Adjourned

    • harpie says:
      2:55 PM · Jun 28, 2022

      We commonly ask witnesses connected to Trump whether they have been contacted by anyone attempting to impact testimony.

      Below are examples of answers we have received to this question. [screenshots…I don’t know WHAT to call them]

      From those screenshots:

      “What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceed through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”

      “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

  41. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump would be loathe to allow defense counsel to use an insanity defense, or even to question his judgment. But his reptilian mind knows it might yield fewer consequences for his conduct. It’s sometimes sad how full of choices is the world of the super-rich.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump would also have known that any acknowledgment that he had, in fact, lost the election would reduce his ability to raise millions by grifting off the rubes.

      • Legonaut says:

        I continue to have difficulty understanding how someone truly worth “billions” would need to work so hard grubbing around for a few million here & there. Makes me continue to question his true valuation — I don’t recall ever seeing documented evidence for that.

        It’s not like TFG is particularly industrious, given all of his “executive time” while in office…

        • Peterr says:

          For folks like Trump, it doesn’t matter how many millions or billions you have.

          It is never enough.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Forbes Magazine’s estimate of his net worth in early 2021 was $3 billion. Of this, $960 million was in New York real estate, $730 million in golf clubs, $340 million in other real estate $480 million in “brand” and social media, and $450 million in cash and “personal assets.” Known debts secured by his assets and coming due before 2024 totaled $900 million, so cash was not necessarily plentiful. And the post-election fundraising (“stop the steal” and so forth) brought in more than $200 million, of which no more than 10% was actually spent on legal battles – much of it is basically a slush fund for TFG – so I wouldn’t say it was chump change.

        • gmoke says:

          Trmp has inflated his wealth since the very first story in the NYTimes about him moving into the Manhattan real estate market, a story which, if memory serves, was brokered by Trmp’s alter ego, the PR guy John Barron. NYTimes never did due diligence on him from the gitgo.

          Trmp is also known to have been one of the very few who lobbied, hard, to get on the Forbes 400 list, another ego and wealth inflation.

        • RMD says:

          not entirely addressing the question of worth….but wanted to add: a recent watching of The Panama Papers disclosed that the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism’s database of PP data has over 3400 instances of Trump’s name.
          The documentary states that a number of his towers and real estate holdings are directly associated with money laundering ventures…


        • Legonaut says:

          Thanks for the responses! I knew about the Forbes guesstimate, but never really bought (!) it precisely because of his lobbying & penchant for overvaluation. The PP stuff is new to me — thanks, RMD.

          You’d think he’d be content to just let the washing machine spin and accrue interest, since he’s so lazy otherwise.

          I’m not always sure I’m as well-adjusted as I could be, but I take my lack of understanding of his motivations as a good sign.

          • Ravenclaw says:

            Lazy isn’t quite the right word. There is plenty of energy there. “Chaos monster” might capture the man’s quality better. Things need to be churning constantly. Activity but no discipline. He wants proof of success/greatness so tries out lots of stratagems, many ill-considered. Sometimes it works (mainly “soft” stuff like self-branding), sometimes it flops (airlines, casinos, football teams, steaks, “schools”), sometimes it limps along at break-even (golf courses). At the end of the day, Daddy’s real estate empire and the management of branded hotels & condo buildings is the heart of the beast. Everything else survives only as long as the “brand” has value.

  42. Nick Caraway says:

    Wow, Cheney discussing multiple instances of Trumpworld people trying to intimidate/ influence witnesses. Threatening phone calls about loyalty, “doing the right thing.” Cheney saying that Committee will consider this intimidation re next steps.

    • TimB says:

      In both this witness intimidation and in the attack on the DOJ’s independence in the waning months of the Trump administration, highly reminiscent of the Mueller report’s extensive discussion of obstruction of justice. Two differences are (1) it is clear from context that some of this behavior occurred after Trump left office and thus does not trip over questions like “Is it even possible for POTUS to obstruct justice” and (2) the purposes of the Committee are improving the system, not enforcing the laws — this is awful even whether illegal or not. Mueller is helpful here in establishing a long pattern of awful obstruction behavior.

  43. Tom says:

    PBS Reporter Lisa Desjardins reports again GOPers still telling her they’re not watching the hearing so have nothing to say.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Standard consultant’s response to unwelcome “breaking news.” Nothing original or informative, other than to suggest, as much Trump-speak does, that the opposite is true.

      • Tom says:

        Yes, I imagine there’s much scrambling and madly riding off in all directions going on behind the scenes.

      • 4Emilias says:

        Or that genius Ron Johnson’s “I’m on the phone” which worked fine, until the reporter pointed out that they could see the screen . . .

        P.S. Moderators – My fat fingers added the “h” to my name. Sorry! Or maybe it was the glass of cava after hearing about trump assaulting his secret service guy and flinging food like a chimp in a zoo.

        [Username fixed. Don’t cava and drive. :-) /~Rayne]

    • Raven Eye says:

      And while that may be technically true during the live testimony, Members will all know exactly what was said within hours, with relevant moment highlighted or indexed.

      As stupid as some of those members may seem, they usually have pretty good survival instincts. You absolutely need to know what the threats are.

      • Nick Caraway says:

        Yes, each Member’s staff will do this indexing/ highlighting for sure. And if a Member wants more info/ analysis, the Congressional Research Service (Library of Congress internal think tank) will jump to any Member’s request and do whatever in-depth research the Member might want. At least that was the case back in the Stone Age when I was an intern on the Hill.

    • Purple Martin says:

      I’ve always hoped the consistent, standard follow-up question becomes: “Congressman, do you expect anyone to believe that?”

      Yes, I know all the reasons why not but, still…

    • FL Resister says:

      Willful ignorance is not a bona fide response.Reporters need to prepare follow-up questions.
      At least challenge them publicly as they once again close their eyes and cover their ears to the evidence of real malfeasance with very high stakes for the country, for goodness sake.
      The Sunday talk shows should be extra depressing – mealy mouthed milque-toasted fare presented weekly for the lulled masses.

  44. Ddub says:

    The inside voice. Crucial to telling the story. Hutchinson was very effective and credible.
    And smart. She knew she’d be left holding the bag. Gutsy to agree to testify though. Would love to know the discussion with her new counsel about that!?

  45. Dave in Cupertino says:

    IANAL, as I flip between CBS and NBC live news, the (non-lawyer) analysts, doing a post-committee hearing analysis, are saying Cassidy’s testimony “shreds” any last barrier to charging criminal liability by Donald Trump. Obviously, the analysts are not lawyers. Are they overreacting?

    [This is your 3rd username. Please stick with this one going forward. /~Rayne]

  46. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump not only wanted to go to the Capitol, to be at the head of his Roman mob. (“The mob is Rome.”) He wanted to enter the “House chamber,” presumably to interrupt the legislative branch in the midst of performing its constitutional duty. Unprecedented and with no legitimate purpose. Trump may not be lean, in the manner of Cassius, nor does he think too much, but he always has that hungry look.

    • Purple Martin says:

      I’m thinking of scenes that will be in the inevitable movie. TFG lunging at the throat (oh, excuse me: “Clavicle”) of the head of his Secret Service detail will be a good one.

      So, perhaps in an early scene imagining what might happen, the House Sergeant at Arms at the door to the House chamber, holding the House Mace at cross-arms, and proclaiming “You Shall Not Pass!”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It is hard to overstate how unprecedented and illegitimate it would have been for a sitting president to show up uninvited during a joint session of Congress, to interrupt its work, and seek to be heard.

      Even more so when Congress was assembled to execute its responsibilities under the Electoral Count Act, to certify the winner of a presidential election, and when that winner was Not Donald Trump.

      • BettaVote says:

        Even more so when you consider the assortment of freaky cosplaying MAGA drunks and meth heads that would stumble into the chambers after him. His presence there would help shield his little army from attack. I bet he would have tried to get the Police or Nat Guard to “stand down”.

        Was most of this plot hatched in Arkham Asylum?

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; you commented previously as “BeeVoting.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • grennan says:

        Yes. Don’t know whether it’s custom, congressional rule, or even statute, but this came up during tfg’s first or second State of the Union address (the one that was postponed because of his idiotic shutdown) — that a president couldn’t address, or even enter in most circumstances, without a specific invitation from the speaker.

    • grennan says:

      Denver Riggleman, former GOP congressperson now working for the committee, was quoted this afternoon to the effect that we haven’t seen the worst yet.

  47. Tom says:

    Ms. Hutchinson seemed very poised and self-possessed and obviously good at her job. It probably didn’t hurt her chances of getting hired at the White House that she resembles Hope Hicks, at least that’s who she reminds me of.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      I don’t think Cassidy looks much like Hope Hicks, but I have been thinking about how these powerful Republicans hire very young, somewhat inexperienced women. It’s almost as if they believe these staffers can be manipulated/intimidated into keeping their own counsel about events that happen during their time of service. If this is the case, seems that Mark Meadows miscalculated on this one.

      • bmaz says:

        The backbones of most politicians are often young people and retired people. Has always been that way.

      • Raven Eye says:

        There is a never-ending stream of interns-to-staffers in DC. I’ve worked with a couple, and still remember the one at our little university center never letting us forget that she had been a “Presidential Appointee” (“Potomac Fever”). Nice to inform us of that fact, but…

        Ms Hutchinson, on the other hand, did a pretty impressive job and I think she stands out from her age-peers. She might even be forgiven for admiring the things that Trump “accomplished.

  48. Sela says:

    If, after today’s hearings, Garland still refuses to indict trump, it would be a huge dark stain on his career.

    Indicting a former president for things they did during their presidency is bad. Not indicting Trump would be far far worse. This is not about politics, this should be far beyond political interests, or which party could gain or lose advantage by indicting trump. This is about saving democracy in the US.

    • bmaz says:

      For the one gazzionith time, it is NOT the province of the criminal justice system to “save democracy”. The “stain” would be for the criminal justice system to be seen as that.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        It is not the province of the criminal justice system to “save democracy”, however given the few options we have at our disposal, the criminal justice system maybe one of the few hopes we have.

      • Bay State Librul says:


        Very narrow view.
        We have system and it’s as beautiful as the untamed beauty of Santorini

      • TimB says:

        Prosecutorial discretion does pay more attention to crimes more serious and damaging, particularly when pursuing the suspects requires large resources.

      • Sela says:

        It is the criminal justice system’s job to uphold the law. And the law (at least a certain part of it) is there to protect our democracy. So upholding the law is one important way to protect democracy. Especially when it is being attacked.

        Furthermore, when the DOJ applies prosecutorial discretion, one of the guidelines is whether there is national interest. And defending democracy is definitely a national interest.

        Whether justified or not, there is a public concern that the DOJ would avoid indicting Trump because of extraneous reasons such as fear of political implications, and there are those who argue publicly that the DOJ should not indict a former president for acts they did during their presidency, just like they generally avoid indicting a sitting president.

        Given all that, I believe the national interest in defending democracy should be strong enough to overcome any argument in favor of giving an ex-president immunity from facing consequences.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Geez. I turned off CBS when they decided to engage in a session of anal-extractive analysis speculating on how much closer Trump is to indictment.

      The people I first want to see charged are all those velcro-nosed Trump enablers who held the positions that made Trump, as we now know him, possible. They were so willing to discarded any sense of loyalty to country and Constitution in exchange for loyalty to whatever Trump is — and they should learn the price.

      If those folks can be nailed, it might just send the most important message. If we can’t manage to come up with a case that is pretty sure of convicting Trump, that is unfortunate, but so much better than losing the case against him. Worst best case: Biden eventually generates a very precisely worded pardon. Trump’s head would (figuratively) explode.

  49. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Speaker of the Arizona House, Rusty Bowers: “I’d vote for him again.”

    So would Mike Pence. The GOP is fine with all this. It’s only complaint is that it didn’t work. It’s why it will back someone like “Death” DeSantis: as vicious as Trump, but more creative, energetic, and infinitely smarter.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I don’t know if that last item is true, and DeSantis has his own Russian money problems while he was a Congresscritter. That, and a full examination of the so-called ‘success’ story of FL (which the courtier press won’t do, sadly) would show Ron to be every bit as idiotic as his orange muse.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        I actually am more afraid of Death Santis because he is smarter and better educated than Trump. Trump is just a natural born and bred criminal. He has no actual political positions, only adopting whatever way the most beneficial winds blow.

        De Santis knows better, and has a political agenda. And now he has the other guys roadmap showing where all the pitfalls are.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        DeSantis’s frailties pale in comparison to Trump’s. The GOP’s big money is still behind him – and would be behind someone like him in competition with any Democrat.

        It’s easy for Esper to virtually walk back a vote he’ll never have a chance to take back. He’s running for cover.

        Bower’s long-winded ask for “something better” than Trump is like alcohol-free beer – no oomph – and no substitute for a simple, “No, I would not vote for Trump again.” He’s temporizing, pending outcome from the Jan 6th hearings. If his choice is between any Democrat and a DeSantis or Trump-like figure, is there any doubt whom he would vote for?

    • grennan says:

      Bowers may have walked this back.

      Mark Esper, one of the former defense secretaries of the last administration, has stood out from the latest round of “he really looked bad from the inside” weenie authors by stating that no, he would not.

  50. Badger Robert says:

    The witness touched on her long journey from being a conservative activist with a promising career, to having doubts about the 01/06, to accepting a Trump financed attorney, to retaining Ms. Hunt as pointed out by Marcy Wheeler, to offering some testimony, to testifying in graphic detail about what witnesses had told her and what she had seen in the White House. Think about the journey, from being inside, to thinking it will all be OK, to finally having to accept that testifying is the only way out.
    The ordeal of this witness, who wavered a long time and protected Trump, ended in a completely different way than that of James Comey. Someone made a self protective mini series out of Comey’s story. But this witness’ story with its moments of doubt would be much more gripping.

    • Ed Walker says:

      Well said. She has the intellectual openness to question her beliefs and her own actions.

    • Tom Marney says:

      I have to wonder about the role of any threats against her in the evolution of her thinking.

  51. Paulka says:

    I have to say it will be truly memorable if a young woman is the straw that break’s trump’s back. Especially after last week’s horrendous abortion decision.

  52. harpie says:

    I don’t CARE if anyone thinks I’m being CRAZY!
    I BELIEVE SCOTUS is issuing DECISIONS timed in response to these Hearings for POLITICAL reasons!
    3:36 PM · Jun 28, 2022

    #BREAKING: Over dissents from the three liberal Justices, #SCOTUS issues unsigned, unexplained shadow docket order putting Louisiana’s congressional maps (which a district court blocked) back into effect and adding the case to the merits docket for next Term: [screenshot]

    #SCOTUS’s order putting LA’s congressional maps back into effect is the *15th* grant of emergency relief this Term; and the *16th* grant of cert. before judgment (bypassing the court of appeals) since 2/2019 — versus *0* such grants in the prior 15 years).

    A Court in a hurry…

    • bmaz says:

      Doubt it. They don’t care about all that, they are cleaning up shit so they can leave soon.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        “they are cleaning up shit so they can leave soon.”

        Not sure what you mean here bmaz. Do you mean the court is leaving soon? For a recess or for something else?

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. The term is over. After announcing four more opinions, they mostly go away until the first week of October.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Court’s radical majority is all-in when it comes to right wing gerrymandering.

  53. OldTulsaDude says:

    If Trump is indicted, I’m sure he will ask for a change of venue, Omsk maybe or Saint Petersburg.

  54. rattlemullet says:

    But it is the province of the criminal justice system to investigate crimes by the executive branch and everything I read here and elsewhere indicates the the Department of Justice is doing just that concerning the insurrection of January 6th. There seems to be some coordination between the J6 committee and the DoJ or is that an incorrect statement? My questions would be, is there enough evidence for the DoJ to investigate the actions of the former president for his involvement with the insurrection? Would the general public even know if this investigation were occurring? Would the public know if a grand jury was impaneled to hear evidence against the former president. Lastly would DOJ subpoenas carry more weight than a congressional subpoena? Respectfully – The true stain would be that the executive branch members of the trump administration suffer no legal consequences for their involvement and or indifference to the attack on the capital.

    • Rayne says:

      Look, you aren’t paying attention — literally not reading the posts at this site if you are asking this question. Please don’t do this here, step up your game.

  55. Arice says:

    That was a rousing good hearing. Did a really great job of establishing what a scumbag DJT is. The bit about screaming at security to let his people in with their weapons because they’re not going to hurt HIM goes a long way, IMO. Ms. Hutchinson was very credible and a great witness, IMO.

    I wish the committee had gone into what, specifically, is the new testimony they’d received last week that lead for them to scramble the jets to get this hearing done. I suspect she came back to them with credible proof she was being threatened and witness tampered so they rushed to get this done before she stood too close to a 4th floor window and fell out.

    • timbo says:

      Basically, the testimony today calls into serious relief the failure of Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment on January 7th or sooner.

      • Arice says:

        True, that, Timbo. After hearing that the Cabinet was “considering” it I had to think what MORE would a person have to do to demonstrate the need for intervention than what Trump did? He went full loco.

  56. Obansgirl says:

    Thank you for this summary. I watched entire hearing and fear for Ms. Hutchinson’s safety. One thing I kept noticing from her previously recorded clips was she continually referenced the time that things occurred. I wonder if this was deliberate in terms of helping to identify where others were or how and who they might have been communicating with at that time – like Meadows.

  57. Grant G says:

    Guaranteed the j6 panel has receipts to prove up most of Cassidy’s testimony today….Trump on Truth Social has already made a statement denying food toss with Cassidy helping with the clean-up and Trump denying grabbing the steering wheel….Maga online warriors and many GOP are screaming hearsay hearsay hearsay….

    Clearly the j6 panel set a trap and Trump already walked into it…

    J6 panel has provided many receipts of proof proving testimony true from previous hearings…J6 thus far in hearings set the plate for future hearing..This happened today too.

    Liz Cheney started the hearing saying something to the effect that today’s testimony will come more to light in future hearings…

    Trump already made statement on Truth Social denying steering wheel and food toss ….Guaranteed J6 has corroborating testimony on that.

    Today’s hearing and testimony was merely priming the pump…giving last few hold-outs a chance to come clean….And the trap which already hooked Trump’s ankle.


    • Purple Martin says:

      Not entirely certain without going back and checking, but I’m pretty sure everything Ms. Hutchinson related was attached to a named person that can be shown as being part of a specific time/place conversation, and sometimes two people (like the Deputy Chief of Staff and Head of Secret Service Security detail both in the car with Trump for the grabbing-the-steering-wheel-choking-the-agent thing).

      That means any hearsay can be addressed by the specific person quoted, as a witness during a criminal trial if necessary. When someone shouts “hearsay hearsay hearsay”…just note that person can debunk it with testimony under oath, and I’m sure the Committee would be glad to schedule the voluntary interview.

  58. Ed Walker says:

    On Harpie’s hearsay point. Some of what she says is hearsay. For example, she says Ornato (Secret Service guy) told her that TFG tried to grab the steering wheel of the Beast, the Presidential motor car, in his frustration that the driver wouldn’t take him to the Capitol. That’s hearsay as to what Trump said. It’s not hearsay as to what Ornato told her.

    In another place, she says she says Jim Jordan called Meadows who’d left his phone in the office. She carried the phone to Meadows in the Oval Office and stood by the door way where she heard what the people inside said. She repeats what she heard. That’s not hearsay as to the conversation.

  59. Joberly says:

    What we learned from Ms. Hutchinson today suggests that the president had wild, manic mood swings of ups and downs that day:
    Morning warmup at 11:00 a.m. shouting at VP Pence on the phone to be a patriot, not a p****.
    11:45 a.m. bellowing at Tony Ornato to let armed spectators into the Ellipse area
    12:00 noon: speech begins at a half-filled area (reminder of Tulsa empty arena fiasco back in June)
    1:15: Trump speech ended, and he seemed to think that he would be driven to the Capitol where he somehow would be center stage, maybe even on the House floor overawing Pence to do his bidding;
    1:20: emotional crash when he was told the limo would not take him to the Capitol. Rage-throttling the driver when he realized he was thwarted from his fantasy of taking command at the Capitol.
    1:30: melancholy when he realized it had all failed. Emotional collapse. He did not want to see anybody after the return, he just wanted to drink Diet Coke and throw food against the wall in the Oval dining room. [Meadows also took to his sick-couch with his phone(s)]
    2:05 to 4:00: dramatic mood swing back upward when the president learned about the insurrectionists breaching the Capitol, with Trump riding a wave of joy at the violence and blast-tweet threats against the Veep; Trump rejected all the entreaties to intervene from family, Fox News hosts, et al.
    4:00: Biden statement calling for the violence to end
    4:17: downer–Trump released a grudging video calling for retreat, but “We love you, you’re very special.”
    6:00: last tweet before Twitter and FB suspended his accounts: “Go home with love & peace. Remember this day forever.”

    • grennan says:

      While he may have tossed some food the day of the insuttection, Ms. Hutchinson spoke about the plate throwing that occurred Dec. 20 after Barr told AP there wasn’t any fraud that would have changed election results.

      This makes the asylum tenders look even worse. First, because this didn’t appear to bother anybody. Second, if there isn’t any cell phone footage or stills of plate and ketchup trickling down the wall, it’s probably because of strict WH rules about personal electronics — completely ignored by the burner phone brigade.

    • quickbread says:

      Seeing the mood swings recapped here makes me wonder if the core emotional truth behind the day is that TFG thought more people would come out to defend his big lie than the number who showed up. So, his concern about the rally crowd may not have stemmed from ego but from a deeper concern that he didn’t have a big enough army to pull off his coup attempt. In other words, the reality was hitting him that he was a loser.

      (Rayne, it’s been a while since I’ve commented. Hopefully I remembered my username correctly.)

      [You used the same name you’ve used before. Welcome back to emptywheel! /~Rayne]

  60. pdaly says:

    Cheney mentioned (and played law enforcement recording of radio transmissions) that ‘men with AR-15 style rifles and pistols were spotted on 1/6 near the Ellipse’.
    I cannot find the recording, but Marcy tweets that some of those armed men were at 14th and Independence Ave.

    Perhaps coincidence, but 14th and Independence is not only close to the Ellipse but also close to the Jefferson Memorial where Simmons/Greene/Person10 claims he parked the car that he and 2 others (Rhodes?) rode to DC in on 1/6.
    It’s also near the proposed QRF water landing site (as Marcy has pointed out before), and
    it’s close to the Mandarin Oriental hotel where Giuliani, ‘Trump-pardoned’ Kerik, and other Trump election team members stayed while doing their early post-election fight planning.

  61. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Inside the Beltway, it’s gonna be a lot harder for a long time to get a job as a GOP aide.

  62. blueedredcounty says:

    I know we were in uncharted territory with the 25th Amendment, but I was struck by Betsy DeVos’s statement after the first hearing. The one where she indicated the Cabinet had talked to Mike Pence and she had flat-out told him they were ready to support him if he wanted to invoke it. Mike apparently declined.

    I’m unsure of all the legalities involved (i.e., with all the “acting” Cabinet members, and so few confirmed by the Senate, if there were problems with sufficient people, etc.). But what struck me about her statement is they knew, they made the offer to Pence, Pence declined, they resigned. Then they all said nothing for over 17 months about it. NONE of them had the guts or integrity to speak the truth as the events happened.

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