The Primary Thing Eric Herschmann Remembers from January 6 Is that Cassidy Hutchinson Was Wrong about That Note

There’s a funny detail in Cassidy Hutchinson’s September 14 January 6 Committee testimony.

She claimed that on May 20, after a third appearance before the committee and after firing her lawyer, Stefan Passantino earlier that day, Eric Herschmann called her and told her, “I didn’t know you remembered so much.”

And Eric called me that evening, and I just apologized. And he was like, you know, “I didn’t know that you remembered so much, Cassidy. Mark [Meadows] really put you in bad positions. I’m really sorry that he didn’t take care of you better. You never should’ve had to testify to any of that. That’s all of our jobs. I don’t know why they didn’t ask us, they asked you instead.”

And I was just like, “Look, Eric like, it is what it is.” And he kind of talked for — it was probably a 30-minute conversation.

“Remembered,” she described Herschmann saying, not “knew” or “witnessed.”

It’s an interesting word choice, if accurate, because in Herschmann’s testimony before the committee back on April 6 (and so after Passantino had sat through Hutchinson’s first two appearances before the committee, on February 23 and March 7), he didn’t remember much.

The word “remember” shows up (sometimes used as part of a question to him) 482 times in the transcript. The word “recall” shows up 166 times. The word “recollection” comes up 24 times.

Among the things Herschmann professed to have little memory of were the fake electors casting votes in December, Trump’s December 19 tweet announcing the January 6 event,  the date of a key January 5 meeting involving Marc Short and John Eastman, the details (beyond an “intellectual discussion about [John] Eastman”) of a call he had with Rudy Giuliani — out of the blue! — on the morning of the 6th, what he said to Pat Philbin to try to convince him to join him at the rally before proceeding on his own, what Trump said to him while waiting to speak at the Ellipse (Herschmann invoked Executive Privilege to cover a call between him and Trump at 10:50PM that day), any claims in Trump’s Ellipse speech that Herschmann knew to be bullshit,  what Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Trump were talking about in the dining room after returning from the Ellipse, and whether he had auto-delete set for his texts.

What Herschmann did recall — aside from the times he screamed at Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and John Eastman, which made him a hero of the January 6 Committee hearings — was writing a note calling on people to leave the Capitol.

Q So do you recall, did you tell them what was happening or did they seem to already be aware?

A I don’t remember. I know I wrote out something, but I don’t remember if they were aware when they came back or I told them when I came in. I just don’t remember that detail.

Q And why did you write something out?

A I thought we should put out a statement.

Q Okay. Do you remember what you wrote?

A I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember going down to Mark’s outer office, chief of staff, and asking someone there to get me something to write on. And normally, if I had to — if I was grabbing something, it would be the chief of staff.

They have one of those cards, I don’t know, it’s a rectangular card that says chief of staff.

Q So this was a handwritten note?

A It was a handwritten note, yeah.

Q Okay. Let’s go — we’ll pull up Exhibit 11. Is that the note you’re referring to?

A That is the note.

Q Okay. And what did you do with the note?

A The actual physical note.

Q Yeah. Did you give it to the President?

A No, I didn’t give it to the President. I may have given it to Meadows, but I didn’t hand it to the President. I would have — I think the reason I edited “illegally,” is someone had a discussion, I don’t remember who it was — and it wasn’t the President, but someone had the discussion, how do we establish it’s illegally — that they entered illegally? Which I thought, okay, I don’t want to say overlawyering, but overlawyering, in my view. So I crossed out “illegally” and said “without proper authority.” Okay, that solves that issue, right? And I thought we should put out the statement.

Q Did you tell the President that he should put out a statement?

A Generally, I had discussions with the President about putting out a statement. I don’t remember if I read this or I handed it to Mark, or Mark and I discussed it in front of the President. I just don’t remember that detail. But this was my first reaction to seeing the violence and what I thought the White House should do.

Q Did the President have a reaction?

A I don’t recall his reaction, but obviously he didn’t put out this statement. [my emphasis]

It’s funny that that was one of the few things Herschmann recalled on April 4, because after Hutchinson testified in her May 17 testimony to remembering a whole bunch of things that Herschmann couldn’t remember (including a discussion between Meadows, Herschmann, and Pat Cipollone about Trump’s comment that Mike Pence might deserve to be hung), she went on to publicly testify, on June 28, that she physically wrote that note as Meadows dictated it, with Herschmann chiming into to offer the alternative, “without proper authority.”

LIZ CHENEY: Now let’s look at just one example of what some senior advisers to the president were urging. Ms. Hutchinson, could you look at the exhibit that we’re showing on the screen now? Have you seen this note before?

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: That’s a note that I wrote at the direction of the chief of staff on January 6th, likely around 3:00.

LIZ CHENEY: And it’s written on a chief of staff note card, but that’s your handwriting, Ms. Hutchinson?

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: That’s my handwriting.

LIZ CHENEY: And why did you write this note?

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: The chief of staff was in a meeting with Eric Hirschman and potentially Mr. Philbin, and they had rushed out of the office fairly quickly. Mark had handed me the note card with one of his pens, and sort of dictating a statement for the president to potentially put out.

LIZ CHENEY: And — no, I’m sorry. Go ahead.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: That’s Ok. There are two phrases on there, one illegal and then one without proper authority. The illegal phrase was the one that Mr. Meadows had dictated to me. Mr. Herschmann had chimed in and said also put without legal authority. There should have been a slash between the two phrases. It was an — an or if the president had opted to put one of those statements out. Evidently he didn’t. Later that afternoon, Mark came back from the Oval Dining Room and put the palm card on my desk with illegally crossed out, but said we didn’t need to take further action on that statement.

LIZ CHENEY: So, to your knowledge, this statement was never issued.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: It was — to my knowledge, it was never issued.

The difference between Herschmann and Meadows dictating the note to Hutchinson (who is not once mentioned in Herschmann’s testimony) and Herschmann writing it himself is negligible in the larger story, so he could have left it well enough alone. Especially given the number of times Herschmann claimed not to remember details of what happened with the note, such as how it was presented to Trump or how the then-President responded.

But Herschmann didn’t leave it well enough alone. Shortly after Hutchinson’s public testimony, Herschmann’s spox put out a formal statement claiming he had written the note.

“The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News Tuesday evening.

“All sources with direct knowledge and law enforcement have and will confirm that it was written by Mr. Herschmann,” the spokesperson said.

This statement became one of two bases — along with the pushback from people in the vicinity of Tony Ornato about the Beast story — on which Hutchinson’s credibility was attacked in the days after her testimony.

The discrepancy on the note could be just that, a discrepancy. All of Herschmann’s claimed memory lapses might one day come to be refreshed.

The dispute, however minor, between Herschmann and Hutchinson is noteworthy for several reasons though.

First, Hutchinson told the committee that the first time she met with Passantino, after being referred by Herschmann via Alex Cannon, she asked him if he was representing anyone else before the Committee. Passantino wouldn’t answer, but according to Hutchinson, he did say he had represented Eric Herschmann, among others, in the past, and that “we really want to work to protect Eric Herschmann.”

Ms. Hutchinson. ~ You previously asked about individuals he had raised with me. In my conversation with him earlier that afternoon, when I [sic] asking him about the engagement letter, I did also ask Stefan if he was representing any other January 6th clients. And he had said, “No one that I believe that you would have any conflicts with.”

And I said, “Would you mind letting me know?” Now, again, to this day, I still don’t know if that’s really a kosher question to ask an attorney, if they can share their clients with me, but I wanted to make sure that there actually weren’t any conflicts, because I didn’t have anything in writing.

He wouldn’t tell me anybody he was representing before the January 6th Committee, but he did tell me that he had previously represented Eric Herschmann and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in unrelated matters.

And in that same conversation, he said, “So if you have any conversations with any of them, especially Eric Herschmann, we want to really work to protect Eric Herschmann.”

And| I remember saying sarcastically to him, “Eric can handle himself. Eric has his own resources. Why do I have to protect Eric?” He said, “No, no, no. Like, just to keep everything straight, like, we want to protect Eric with all of this.”

Ms. Cheney. Did he explain what he meant?

Ms. Hutchinson. No. And, to be honest, I didn’t ask. I didn’t have anything with Eric anyway that I felt that I had to protect. And I say that because, at the time of being back in Trump world — this is where I look back and regret some of this, but — like, I did feel a need to protect certain people. But with somebody like Eric, I didn’t feel that need, I didn’t find it necessary.  didn’t — I didn’t think that Eric did anything wrong at the time.

Ms. Cheney. Did it have something to do with NARA?

Ms. Hutchinson. He never really explained to me what it was exactly that we wanted to protect Eric on. I sort of erred on the side of: Maybe he just represents Eric in ongoing litigation, whether it’s financial disclosures or whatever it might be.

And, again, I just didn’t prod too much on that either, because, you know, I was under the impression that Eric helped set me up with Stefan, so I didn’t — I was worried that Stefan would then go back-channel to Eric and — this is my very paranoid brain at the time, but I was worried that if I, you know, pushed this subject a little too much, that he would then go back to Eric Herschmann and say, “Cassidy asked a lot of questions about you, like, why she needs to protect you.” So just didn’t really press the subject too much on that.

By the end of that first day, per her testimony, she learned that Passantino was business partners on the election-related business Alex Cannon had with Justin Clark and, possibly, Herschmann.

S0 I — “I want to make sure that I’m getting the dates right with these things?

He goes, “No, no, no.” He said, “Look, we want to get you in, get you out.

We’re going to downplay your role. You were a secretary. You had an administrative role. Everyone’s on the same page about this. It’s extremely unfair that they’re” “they’re” being the committee – “that the committee is putting you in this position in the first place. You really have nothing to do with any of this. It’s Mark’s fault that you’re even involved in this. We’re completely happy to be taking care of you now. We had no idea that you weren’t being taken care of this last year. So we’re really happy that you reached back out to us. But the less you remember, the better. I don’t think that you should be filling in any calendars or anything.”

[Redacted] When he said a

Ms. Cheney. Go ahead.

[Redacted] So everyone’s on the same page about this, did he explain who he was referring to when he said “everyone”?

Ms. Hutchinson. He didn’t at that moment. Then there are times throughout my working relationship with Stefan where he said similar things that I asked.

Later that day, sort of put together that the “they” he was referring to then were Justin Clark, Alex Cannon, Eric Herschmann. I think that’s — yeah, think that’s all of them.

Ms. Cheney. And how did you put that together?

Ms. Hutchinson.  Because he — he had said that — Justin — yeah, Justin Clark. Stefan had told me that — towards the end of the day that because he was involved with Elections, LLC, and tangentially, I guess Trump’s PACs, he had law partners. And unless I was extremely unwilling for him to share, he said it would be natural for him to have to share that information with the people that he works with that are his partners that are involved in Trump world.

Then, after her third interview — the one in which Hutchinson remembered a lot of details about the response to the attack that Herschmann had already testified to not remembering — Passantino responded by confirming to Maggie Haberman that Meadows’ former aide had testified, and telling Meadows’ lawyers, his partners, and Herschmann about her testimony, all in defiance of Hutchinson’s wishes, according to her testimony.

Ms. Cheney. Did he also – so you said that he talked to Terwilliger, to his law partners. Did he also talk to Herschmann?

Ms. Hutchinson. He did. I’m sorry. I neglected to mention that. He –as we were leaving that evening, I got an Uber, and he walked me to my Uber, and he reiterated that he was going to have a conversation with his law partners. He was going back to Michael Best, and he said that he was going to have a conversation with his law partners that night.

And he asked — he asked — I forget how he said it. He said something to the effect of, “I think its best if we tell Eric about this, too. He’s not technically my law partner, but I think Eric deserves to know some of this, too.”

And I said, “Look, at this point, one, I kind of know you’re going to do what you’re going to do.” And I said, “Whatever you think is best”

That’s what led to the 30-minute call from Herschmann, the one where he expressed surprise that she remembered so much.

The discrepancy looks somewhat different give Hutchinson’s claim that Passantino told her, from the start, “they” were trying to protect Herschmann.

Particularly given that the transcripts reveal just how amorphous Herschmann’s job was. He has often been referred to as part of the White House Counsel’s office. I’ve done it. General Keith Kellogg did it in his interview with the Committee, which is why, Kellogg explained, he was so surprised that Herschmann sat silent in the Oval Office as Trump told Mike Pence he could reject electors from contested states, some details of which were something else Herschmann claimed not to remember.

Herschmann’s job was providing legal advice (he was also involved in Jared Kushner’s portfolio of pardons and Middle East negotiations, though when asked, he was coy about his relationship with the kids: “I had met them beforehand,” he said) And he did report through Pat Cipollone. But he was not part of the White House Counsel’s Office.

It’s almost like he was an in-house minder, paid by taxpayers, installed by the family or Bill Barr for the last five months of the presidency.

While working at the White House, Herschmann teamed up with Passantino and Don Jr’s buddy, Arthur Schwartz, to pitch the first Hunter Biden smears to the WSJ, even before Rudy disseminated the “laptop.”

Yet even in that short time period, Herschmann became a key gatekeeper for the President, ostensibly to prevent him from getting outrageous pitches.

Which makes a key discrepancy between Pat Cipollone and Herschmann’s testimony rather interesting, particularly given Passantino’s concern (at least per Hutchinson’s testimony) with protecting Herschmann.

Herschmann claimed that the reason Cipollone wasn’t in that meeting in the Oval Office on January 6, sometime after he spoke with Rudy out of the blue and at which he didn’t remember the Joint Session of Congress coming up, is because Cipollone hadn’t arrived to work yet. In fact, Herschmann remembered that even after the Oval Office meeting, Cipollone still wasn’t in the office; Herschmann described talking to just Pat Philbin before deciding to go, without prior planning, to the Ellipse.

I don’t remember, I don’t think Cipollone was in the office yet, but Philbin was.

The way Cipollone remembered it is that he came to the Oval Office before the meeting, but Herschmann specifically told him he didn’t need to participate — it was just family.

I remember Eric Herschmann was standing there and came and my recollection is he came to me as I was standing in the door and said, this is — this is family — just kind of –you don’t need to be here. And said, fine. And believe I went back to my office at that point.

And so, as Herschmann described, when he was in the Oval Office not hearing a discussion about the Joint Session of Congress, he was just on a social visit, just saying hello.

Q You were not there for any legal purpose. It was just, you indicated, sort of a social gathering?

A Yeah, when I first came in, it was just saying hello.

I’m sure that relative veracity of these claims are all being weighed by Jack Smith and his prosecution team. Indeed, after these events, DOJ started adding Passantino’s name to subpoenas.

I’m interested in one more detail about it. Immediately after Hutchinson testified about her claims of obstruction to J6C on September 14 and 15 (testimony which should have been secret), Maggie Haberman came out with two stories pitching Herschmann — who worked so closely on Jared’s portfolio at the White House — in positive light. On September 16, Maggie Haberman reported on Herschmann’s demand to get an Executive Privilege invocation in writing just in time to avoid testifying sometime that month. In it, Herschmann got to impugn Boris Epshteyn’s legal ability, just like he was made a star of the J6C hearings by yelling at Eastman and Powell.

The claim that Herschmann was invoking Executive Privilege is particularly interesting given two things he said in his J6C interview. First, he said that “based on his understanding” with the two Pats, he would not invoke privilege, at least with respect to Trump’s call to Mike Pence on January 6.

Q And could you hear the Vice President, or only hear the President’s end?

A Only hear the President’s end.

Q Okay. And what did you hear him say?

A Well, I guess from this, based on my understanding with Pat Philbin and Pat Cipollone — I don’t want to assert privilege on that as much as tell you that, at some point, it started off as a calmer tone and everything, and then became heated.

Given his claimed status as a social visitor and his role as an aide giving legal advice reporting to, but not part of, the White House Counsel’s Office, I’m curious what privilege he would claim.

Almost immediately thereafter, Herschmann asked to review with his own lawyers (former colleagues of his from Marc Kasowitz’ firm who also repped Ivanka, Jared, Ivanka Trump’s Chief of Staff Julie Radford and aide Rachel Craddock, and two of Trump’s Executive Assistants, Molly Michael and Austin Ferrer, as well as Alex Cannon, the latter of whom was represented pro bono), in part, whether “if I don’t recall something” it’s invoking a privilege.

Q  Okay. Others have said that President Trump said, I made the wrong decision four years ago?

Do you recall that.

A Let me — can we take a two-second break, so I get the privilege down in my head? Because if I don’t recall something, I presume it’s not invoking anything, right?

So can we take a five-minute break, so I can get my own ground rules covered.

Herschmann did, as noted, invoke privilege to cover one of two private conversations he had with Trump that day, one after the attack on the Capitol. But that was it. The single solitary thing all day he invoked privilege over. And yet somehow, there would be a lengthy discussion about privilege before he appeared before a grand jury.

The reason I find these discussions of privilege so interesting, though, is because while we know that the two Pats testified before a grand jury after Beryl Howell overruled Trump’s privilege invocation, we’ve never heard whether Herschmann did.

That’s relevant, too, because (like Alex Cannon), Herschmann also reportedly has a role in the stolen documents case. A few days after the story on privilege, on September 19, Haberman reported that Herschmann had warned Trump to return his stolen documents at some otherwise vague meeting in 2021.

As Hutchinson’s testimony and years of past practice make clear, sometimes people share stories with Maggie as a way to telegraph what has gone on in an investigation.

116 replies
  1. phred says:


    What a difference reading documents makes. Thanks so much for doing the reading the rest of us don’t have time to do and telling us all about it. As usual, you put other reporters (cough, Maggie, cough) to shame.

    This puts Herschmann in a whole new light for me. It never ceases to amaze me the number of talented intelligent people cheerfully tossing their careers and credibility into a bonfire for Trump. This should become a new entry in the DSM-V.

    • emptywheel says:

      I have … theories about Herschmann. I mean, even if he was covering up the Jan6 Oval meeting, that still shouldn’t put HIM in the legal crosshairs.

      But for now I’ll keep reading transcripts.

        • emptywheel says:

          Honestly, there are so many points of leverage in the conflicts between these people, and the multiple prongs of the investigation mean that when one person did the right thing on one part of the investigation, they have exposure on another part.

      • timbozone says:

        Though if it can be proved that he intentionally obstructed the investigation then he might indeed have legal and bar problems, correct?

      • Bombay Troubadour says:

        “after firing her lawyer, Stefan Passantino earlier that day, Eric Herschmann called her and told her, “I didn’t know you remembered so much.” “.
        The timing of this is mafia-like. As well as the phrasing. Intimidating further testimony perhaps? i can’t comment on legal crosshairs, but it seems at minimum Hershmans own awareness of potential coup culpability is on full display in the above re-capture of transcripts and testimony.
        How naive I was to think, based on J6 hearings, that Hershman was on the side of preserving the union versus the reality that he was among many insider counsels just trying to preserve themselves.
        It will be interesting to see if the machinery of justice eventually picks up all the peripheral players. Go Merritt Go!

        • Commentmonger says:

          I just can’t see how you would think that anyone working in the Trump Administration had any interest in “preserving the union”.

        • Rayne says:

          LOL Oh, they were fine with “preserving the union” — the union of money and their wallets, and/or the union of power and their self-interests.

        • Charles Wolf says:

          “I didn’t know you remembered so much.”

          Translated into proper English that means:
          “You got a memory like a rat.”

    • Mike P says:

      Yup, same. I admit I fell for the J6C darling thing with Herschmann because of his dunking on people I was overly exasperated with in Eastman & Co. Should have known better. Fabulous piece, Marcy.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Herschmann’s cutting, hard-hitting comments were a highlight of the televised hearings for me. But I never forgot that he had chosen to work in Trump World for some time, so it’s hard to imagine the moral, or even legal, clarity runs deep.

        Hutchinson is a much more interesting case. She associated herself with that world but ended up exhibiting as much courage and integrity as we have seen in a long time. Her powers of observation and her ability to see reality sharply in the face of complicating and personally threatening factors is quite impressive. Fortunately, she is young. I hope that in the future she contributes her abilities to good causes.

        • xy xy says:

          “Her powers of observation and her ability to see reality sharply in the face of complicating and personally threatening factors is” most likely the reason she was in that job.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          Yeah, maybe. But I doubt “connected with reality” and “high integrity” were at the top of the qualification list to work in the Trump WH. “Capable and easily manipulated” is likely closer to the truth. With their toxic worldview, the Trump people mistook her selfless vision of reality for weakness.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          There is a slightly creepy similarity in the young women who end up working for Trump, not on their part, rather on the part of whoever is selecting them as suitable candidates. One gets the impression that being good-looking is the chief quality the boss is looking for.

        • Mike P says:

          Yeah, I don’t think I ever forgot it, but it was a momentary lapse thinking this was one of the good guys that toughed it out or something. But that’s not the case. Herschmann could have gotten out at any time. He could have left even late when someone like Bill Barr did, but he didn’t.

          I think Hutchinson *is* interesting, but also I put less terrible motives on her. She’s young, she’s got a career ahead of herself, and honestly working in the WH is a damn big deal. I think Trump World made a mistake in presuming she was there and could be routinely browbeat into whatever position they needed her. And they did, for a while. She’s not a hero for working there, but she’s proven herself to have much more integrity than other TV heroes like Herschmann who clearly crafted a great image by slamming odious people that no one respects such as Eastman.

  2. RitaRita says:

    I am amazed at Cassidy Hutchinson’s fortitude and perspicacity. She knew or intuited that she should find out about conflicts that her attorney might have and that his evasiveness was notable and concerning.

    And I am appalled at Stefan Passantino’s avoidance of his ethical obligations to describe potential conflicts to his client. And at Herschmann’s mob talk and convenient memory loss.

    And I am infuriated at the apparent arrogance of Herschmann and others that Hutchinson was some kind of potted plant, sitting in the midst of the plotters, but absorbing nothing.

    I recognize that there are two or more sides to every story and we do not yet have a complete picture. Heck, we might find out that Hutchinson is no role model. But, Egads.

    PS. I have read just a few of the depositions. I did read Cleta Mitchell’s. She may escape criminal liability but her cavalier attitude towards overturning the election, her arrogance, and her hatred for political opponents explain how easy it was for some to justify their actions.

    • Stephen Calhoun says:

      My intuition about Ms. Hutchinson is that she was something like a ‘right hand’ to Meadows.

      It is of course a mistake to ever assume underlings aren’t paying attention. I’d go farther and suggest that a good rule of thumb about subordinates is that they have photographic memories.

      This is a great post about the genre of forgetful lawyers. There’s a Nasruddin joke that ends with something like: ‘always helpful to know when to remember to forget!’

      • timbozone says:

        It is telling when non-lawyer staff assistants seem to have much better memories than the hot-shot attorneys they work for, particularly in places where you’d expect folks to remember most details, like lawyers at the US White House.

      • Commentmonger says:

        Thanks for the reference, that’s a funny quote. But wow, after reading up… what a horrible misogynistic culture to find some of those jokes funny.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Cleta Mitchell has the advantage of being a good lawyer. This meant she sent others into dubious legal waters, such as signing on to the fake elector slates, while she kept her own hands clean. She has long played a central role in the ongoing “conservative” movement to replace representative democracy with a theocratic autocracy, and she will continue in that role after any indictments of the sloppy MAGA folk have played out.

      • Bombay Troubadour says:

        Yes, a ‘good’ lawyer would be adept at keeping their own hands clean. But would a ‘good person’ be on the insurrectionist team? I understand even the worst of criminals deserve competent legal council. Although for many, that’s not the way it works in real life. Work the system for cash no matter what, right Cleta?

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I never said Mitchell was a good person. I think she’s a terrible person. But among the insurrectionist crew, she is distinguished by possessing a cold and dispassionate ability to keep herself legally insulated.

  3. dadidoc1 says:

    If the notecard exists, handwriting analysis is in order. We already know that Josh Hawley runs like a girl, but it would be a stretch to discover that Eric Herschman not only writes like a girl, but that his handwriting looks exactly the same as Cassidy Hutchinson’s. We are deeply in debt to your sweeping critical analysis of the events surrounding January 6th.

    • Buzzkill Stickinthemud says:

      Herschman: Woa, woa! Let’s not get hasty. When I said I wrote it, what I meant was I clearly can’t remember who wrote it. I think maybe I remember Mark and I dictated it to someone, but why would we dictate to an administrative assistant who happened to be present? It’s all very mysterious and fuzzy.

    • boatgeek says:

      This is exactly what I came here to say. If a scan of the note is in public record, it should be trivial to establish whether Herschman or Hutchinson wrote it.

      • Silly but True says:

        Bingo! This is one of the failures of Jan. 6 Cmte. to let this discrepancy and question slide.

        It is not a minor thing; they and we _should_ know the fact about te note details.

        I mean, could there have been two notes, even if one is missing/not accessible.

        This should not be an open question.

        • Florida curmudgeon says:

          The Jan. 6 committee may have deliberately left to the special counsel the readily-determined issue of whose handwriting is on the note.

          If Herschman’s handwriting doesn’t plausibly match that on the notecard, the special counsel might have considerable leverage with him as a prospective witness.

        • bmaz says:

          “The Jan. 6 committee may have deliberately left to the special counsel the readily-determined issue of whose handwriting is on the note.”

          Maybe they were too busy preparing for and editing their little infomercials. If fingerprint evidence was known and the holy J6 did not request FBI take custody and perform analysis, what does that say? And if J6 deliberately screwed off things to leave to the “Special Counsel”, how and why?

        • Florida Curmudgeon says:

          Not trying to pick an argument — nothing but respect for you and your contributions here. But I honestly think I addressed those very questions in my comment.

        • Florida Curmudgeon says:

          Ah… I see my comment has been abridged and edited. No issue taken with that. But I actually *had* addressed the points of your question in content that’s been editorially deleted.

        • Rayne says:

          Are you saying moderation here at EW edited your comment? Because I leave notes when I edit — usually adding a note rather than deleting content — and I didn’t touch your comment.

          bmaz practice is to reply rather than edit any comment, or delete the entire comment if it violates community guidelines.

          I’ve now checked the history on that comment in the site’s backend and only three steps were taken: you published, the algorithm held it for moderation, bmaz cleared it to appear on the page. No editing at all evident in your comment’s history.

          I suspect you didn’t save your comment inside the 4-minute editing window.

        • Florida Curmudgeon says:

          My apologies. My full comment is posted as intended far down in the comments below. I have no idea how or why this two-sentence version above inadvertently made its way into the this part of comment thread here, as well. Eek.

          [FYI — You just attempted to post this comment with a huge error in the username field.Florida CurmuFlorida Curmudgeonwas detected as a sockpuppet because the rest of your login information matched an existing user. I’ve corrected your username to match your previous comments. At this point I suggest you clear your browser cache and double check comments before hitting the ‘Post Comment’ button. /~Rayne]

        • harpie says:

          Marcy, above: [Hutchinson] went on to publicly testify, on June 28, that she physically wrote that note as Meadows dictated it

          Hutchinson to Cheney [from the excerpt above]:

          LIZ CHENEY: And it’s written on a chief of staff note card, but that’s your handwriting, Ms. Hutchinson?

          CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: That’s my handwriting.

        • Florida Curmudgeon says:

          It bugs me, as much as it does others, that the committee didn’t resolve the issue via handwriting exemplar this past June.

          It’s obvious, however, the committee chose not to do that. I don’t think it was a sloppy or insufficiently thought-out choice. It seems worth speculating what their reasons may have been.

  4. Tom-1812 says:

    For people living through and participating in such historic events, some of these White House lawyers seem to have remarkably porous memories. When Charles II of England was rowed ashore at Dover on May 25, 1660 after almost ten years in exile during Cromwell’s Protectorate, the young clerk Samuel Pepys (who was aboard the Royal barge that morning and at age 28 was only about two years older than Cassidy Hutchinson) could later recall in his diary what His Majesty had for breakfast that morning (plain sailors’ rations of pease, pork, and boiled beef) and that one of the King’s favourite spaniels later pooped in the bottom of the boat. Yet Mr. Herschmann would have us believe that many of the crucial phone calls, tweets, face-to-face meetings and conversations he had with Trump’s inner circle, as well as with the President himself during those fraught and fateful days and hours, simply passed through his consciousness unrestrained by “the mystic chords of memory” and are now “gone with the wind.”

    Doubt it.

    • Fraud Guy says:

      It’s almost as if a lawyer’s duties to their client includes having a foggy memory, especially if it means the attorney would otherwise have to plead the 5th as to their own conduct.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      “I don’t remember”, when a lie, is perjury that can never be proven. It’s less suggestive than pleading the 5th. It is an under-oath conspirator’s best friend.

  5. !?FTWlol says:

    “Herschmann claimed that the reason Cipollone wasn’t in that meeting in the Oval Office on January 6… because Cipollone hadn’t arrived to work yet.”
    One wonders if there are WH gate logs?

    • Mike P says:

      We know this one is contradicted by Cipollone’s own testimony. Though it’s a dumb thing to lie about because one would presume there’s going to be some record somewhere of when Cipollone may have arrived.

    • Leu2500 says:

      It’s not like he had to clock in, but if the West Wing is like other govt offices, he had to use his badge to get thru security, log into his computer, etc

  6. Drew in Bronx says:

    Herschmann is clearly playing his own game and it largely involves protecting Eric Herschmann. It strikes me as incautious to directly attack Hutchinson about the note, given that handwriting samples can be compared. How much of this is a PR strategy and how much is fending off his own legal exposure? (I assume he wants to maintain his reputation as an advocate with his category of clients who are conservative NY types, not all Trump sycophants, so he doesn’t want to turn anybody in that he doesn’t have to) That said, memory is a complex and flexible thing and Trumpworld wants to keep Eric out of tight spaces, since he might start remembering a lot more details.

  7. Peterr says:

    From Herschmann, above:

    I would have — I think the reason I edited “illegally,” is someone had a discussion, I don’t remember who it was — and it wasn’t the President, but someone had the discussion, how do we establish it’s illegally — that they entered illegally? Which I thought, okay, I don’t want to say overlawyering, but overlawyering, in my view. So I crossed out “illegally” and said “without proper authority.”

    Ooohhh Kaaaayyy . . .

    Let’s review what Herschmann and the rest of the world had been watching on television . . .

    A large and violent group of people broke through barricades, forcibly pushed uniformed police officers back from the Mall, to the steps of the Capitol, and finally to the doors of the Capitol, all the while refuse the commands to the police to back off.

    A large and violent mob swung poles (some with spikes on the end, turning them into spears) at police officers, grabbed police shields to use for protection or to beat police with them, sprayed some kind of toxic chemicals at police, and tried to grab police, throw them to the ground, and beat/kick them.

    A large and violent mob climbed up various walls of the Capitol complex, broke windows in the Capitol and climbed through them, and physically pushed back police in order to finally get access through the doors.

    A large and violent mob chased police officers through the interior of the Capitol, physically attempted to enter the legislative chambers where — finally — an officer protecting the last members of Congress within the chamber fired to kill someone attempting to climb through a broken window in the door they were defending.

    A large and violent mob ransacked offices of members of Congress and Congressional staff, and called out the names of various individuals in a threatening manner (“Naannnn-Cyyyy . . .” and “Hang Mike Pence”) as they searched for them, with some of the mob dressed in tactical gear, carrying large cable ties often used by law enforcement as simple plastic handcuffs.

    And while watching all of this, Herschmann’s question is “how do we establish it’s illegally — that they entered illegally?” Really?

    When you add to this Herschmann’s apparent inability to remember damn near anything to this kind of statement, and then add Herschmann’s willingness to claim he physically wrote a note that is in Cassidy Hutchinson’s handwriting, it sure looks like Trump found exactly the kind of lawyer he likes to have working for him.

    • LaMissy! says:

      “…an officer protecting the last members of Congress within the chamber fired to kill someone…”

      I’m not sure the intent of the officer was to kill someone, though certainly it was to protect the MOC’s still present.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        When American law enforcement fires a weapon, it’s to kill someone. They might miss half the time, and do, but if the target survives, it’s fortuitous.

        • BrokenPromises says:

          The legalize they are trained with is to fire “to stop the threat”. Obviously not a factual event when a fired upon subject has been hit by in some cases more than a dozen of scores of bullets fired. In my understanding the officer in this case only fired one shot. He may have complied with the training and not intended to kill. The subject fell no longer attempting to breach the security of the chamber. Given the size of the crowd at the door the officer may also have intent to not injure or kill rioters not attempting to breach and thus threaten congress peoples lives. And then of course is the potential need to conserve ammo in case the mob did surge forward. This is a situation I would not like to find myself in.
          Also while some police are eager to get in a shooting not all are bloodthirsty as implied. This is not to deny the epidemic of excessive force.

      • Peterr says:

        What earl said.

        If you pull your gun and fire it, it’s not to fire a warning shot. In this case, there were God knows how many angry folks outside that door, and it was the only bottleneck left slowing down the mob that was chanting for Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence. The windows of the door were broken out, and the first angry person was trying to climb through with the mob ready to follow.

        The officer was — appropriately! — shooting to kill.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          News reports also suggest emptying the magazine, or nearly, rather than a double tap, elicits the preferred outcome, especially if the statistics about how few rounds go where intended are correct.

        • gmoke says:

          According to a friend who is a retired NJ state and city police officer, the only annual testing required firearm certification. As a martial arts teacher, he once tried to start a business teaching unarmed compliance for police but found that police officers did not have the time for it and municipalities did not have the money.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh no, they want no part of non-lethal exchange, and that has been drilled into them at the academy and every moment beyond the academy. The first commandment of American policing in the US is complete your shift and go home alive irrespective of what killing to others you have to do.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yes, there are techniques borrowed from several martial arts that are easily taught and which would be effective in controlling anything but the most violent perp without lethal violence.

          Those don’t seem to interest American law enforcement. They do require fitness and training, but I don’t believe the reluctance to use them has anything to do with time or money. It’s about a creed of absolute dominance/submission, which they seem to equate with maximum violence, even where it is not remotely warranted.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          I once sat next to an ex-cop at an Angels baseball game. Conservative as he was, he was highly critical of current policing. He told me stories, such as one of a domestic dispute in which someone pulled a knife on him. He picked up a kitchen chair and subdued his assailant. In his opinion, it’s not even that difficult, in most cases, to subdue people without even needing a firearm. In his opinion, shooting as a first option is shear incompetence. This was from a conservative retired cop.

        • BrokenPromises says:

          Center mass is the biggest target and the training is to fire to stop the threat. The true problem lies in the distortion of deadly threat which is the factor required for the use of deadly force by police. Often even well practiced police fire wide of the threat under the adrenaline surging in the moment. I write this from involvement with the training. I note above that some cops are itching for a fight and I’ll add some cops have malice (too many). All of this but especially lack of use of force training and lack of accountability (immunity) are the drivers of police shooting epidemic.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, that is not quite right by my eye. Many other countries and jurisdictions do not specify and mandate center mass shooting and get along just fine. Agree about the lack of accountability and QI.

          The “itching for a fight” and, sometimes “malice”, are not just a part of lack of use of force training, but more a direct result of what the officers are affirmatively trained and given.

      • LaMissy! says:

        Thanks all! is the source for much of my continuing education. I learn something each time I’m here.

  8. rattlemullet says:

    I cannot begin to fathom the difficulty in prosecuting an insurection/seditious conspiracy case to convict those that are involved with layers of attorney client privilege combined with executive privilege coupled with multiple I do not recall and I can’t remember. Obviously Eric was surprise Cassidy remembered too much, she must have been advised “not to recall” or to answer vaguely.

    • pdaly says:

      Yes, she says this lawyerly advice during the early part of the J6C depositions was a reason she looked for a different lawyer. She became more detailed in her answers when no longer represented by Passantino.

      [and I see emptywheel was already elaborating below]

  9. Ruthie2the says:

    Maybe there were similar discussions regarding other WH officials or people in Trump’s orbit that passed over my head, but I’m curious as to why it was important to protect Herschmann specifically.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yes, part of the point of this post. I have no more than theories at this point. I’m trying to tease out the tensions among all these players, at least as they existed a year ago, while keeping up with the overt Jan6 prosecutions.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Odd that Passantino wouldn’t tell Hutchinson whether or who he was representing regarding J6, but much odder and a red flag that he went out of his way to say that a priority of his representation of Hutchinson was to protect someone else: Herschmann. Not what a defense client expects to here from someone she is so dependent on.

    I’m so old, I remember when this many investigations into this number of people deeply involved in the White House would be a national scandal, leading to resignations and congressional investigations into what the White House had done to merit them. Now, the GOP only acts to protect itself from the electorate and wrongdoers from prosecution. Ordinarily, an even greater national scandal.

  11. Tom-1812 says:

    From above, Mr. Passantino told Ms. Hutchinson that “… the less you remember, the better. I don’t think that you should be filling in any calendars or anything.” This sounds like a sardonic joke on Passantino’s part suggesting to Cassidy that she not try to support her statements by making after-the-fact entries in her calendar or daily agenda. It also sounds like a reference to Brett Kavanaugh’s SC nomination hearing and how he was able to produce his calendar from 1982 to confirm his activities and whereabouts at that time in his effort to counter the sexual assault allegations against him made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Perhaps Passantino has considered the possibility that Kavanaugh’s calendar entries were made after-the-fact, maybe even long after-the-fact.

  12. Larry Doyle says:

    Not intending to defend anyone but:

    There could be a distinction between “writing” a note and “writing it down.”

    There could have been two notes, one of which was used to dictate the other.

    • Chetnolian says:

      Nope. Go back to the top and read the testimony. It is very specific. He refers to something he could write on.

  13. Doctor My Eyes says:

    To Tom-1812, I think Passantino was merely advising Hutchinson to be vague in details. In general, it may well be true that young Ms. Hutchinson was not fluent enough in mobspeak to fully recognize threats when they were issued. I take Herschmann’s “surprised you remember so much” as such a vague mobster threat, which can be parsed along the lines of “I’m surprised you’re not more concerned for your own safety.”

    It occurs to me that the remark about protecting Herschmann could be nothing more than an attempt to manipulate Hutchinson, to get her to avoid being too forthcoming. The other solicitous remarks make clear that Passantino was trying to create a [false] reality of friendly people caring about one another. It could be that those sleazy lawyers had the perception that Hutchinson was fond of Herschmann, and therefore might be convinced to lie or “forgot” in order to protect him. Of course, it’s all speculation, but there could be almost nothing behind that remark or it could cover for a universe of malfeasance.

    • Tom-1812 says:

      I agree the message to Cassidy Hutchinson from Passantino & Herschmann was along the lines of “Don’t be such a Girl Scout! There’s no need to be so helpful to the J6 Committee! They’re not our friends!” But I still think–though I could well be wrong–that Passantino’s jibe about “filling in calendars” was a reference to the fortuitous resurrection of Brett Kavanaugh’s calendar from 1982 during his Supreme Court hearings. Who knows, but perhaps the phrase “filling in calendars” is an inside joke in some legal and political circles.

      • Peterr says:

        This was no joke, nor a reference to Kavanaugh. This is Passantino giving sober advice as a lawyer, though whether it is as her lawyer or someone else’s lawyer is another question.

        In various places in her transcript, Cassidy describes how she can answer things better if she has a calendar in front of her, or spends time refreshing her memory by reviewing her calendars. On p. 48 at Marcy’s link above, she says this:

        Ms. Hutchinson. And then just, at the end of that meeting, we had — because I had asked him about doing the, like, mock question preparation, and he said, “No.” So said, “Well, do you recommend anything that I can do to prepare for next week?” He’s like, “Get a good night’s sleep,” like, a few wishy-washy things.

        And he said, “Don’t read anything about this on the internet.” He said, “Again, Cass, like, just trust me on this. I’m your lawyer. I know what’s best for you. The less you remember, the better. Don’t read anything to try to jog your memory. Don’t try to put together timelines.”

        And he was like, “Especially if you put together timelines, we have to give those over to the committee. So anything you produce we have to give over to the committee. So l really” — he was like, “You can have things in front of you, but really don’t want you to, because we have to give that to the committee.”

        So now I’m like, oh now I’m kind of scared. — Like, what if I want notes in front of me and he gets mad at me because I have to give them to the committee now? I didn’t know I would have to give them to the committee, but he told me I did, and he was my lawyer, so was trying to trust him.

        If she prepares, then she is less likely to say “I don’t remember.” Passantino doesn’t want *anything* to make that answer less likely.

        • emptywheel says:

          Yup. Her memory is very methodical. Give it a milestone and she builds it all out from there. Passantino had no idea about that yet. He was really just trying to get her through an interview and assumed she’d default to his same assumption, say as little as you can get away with.

          And then she started establishing milestones.

        • Peterr says:

          I don’t know that he was “really just trying to get her through an interview.” He was trying to get her through an interview in such a way that others would not be implicated by anything she said.

          I am not a lawyer, but refusing to do a mock interview and advising her *not* to prepare for any questions strikes me as the antithesis of good legal advice.

        • Drew in Bronx says:

          Not good legal advice, but possibly effective in achieving his goal, which is sharing as little information as possible with the committee. Without established benchmarks to frame specific questions, it’s very difficult for investigators/questioners to get much after a resistant witness who mostly says, “I don’t remember, I don’t know, I can’t clearly recall.” Passantino hoped she would be a resistant witness, but short of that an unprepared, unmotivated witness is almost as good.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yep. It’s pretty much setting up your own client. It suggests Passantino didn’t consider any jeopardy she might be in – probably little to none – to be relevant and valued her questioning only as an opportunity to provide cover for someone else to whom he owed more loyalty. What I imagine a mob lawyer does when “representing” a goombah, who can only embarrass or protect the boss. Malpractice is the first thing that comes to mind.

        • Bruce Olsen says:

          “Foot soldier” or “Soldato” would do; “goombah” is a slur (though it’s OK to use among members of that particular group).

          Grew up in NYC in the 60s and, as a non-Italian I would’ve had the shit kicked out of me if I ever used that. Even my close Italian friends would have been upset about that one, and we all used some pretty foul stuff as terms of endearment.

        • RitaRita says:

          Witness preparation varies, dependent on the purpose of the hearing, the role of the witness, and the interests of the witness potentially affected. I am not sure that advising a client, like Hutchinson, that they don’t need to do any special preparation is per se wrong. I am more troubled with Passantino saying, “The less you remember, the better.”. What you remember, you remember – not more, not less.

        • Tom-1812 says:

          Thanks for the clarification. It’s as if Cassidy were entered to run a footrace but Passantino doesn’t want her to win. At the same time he doesn’t want her to overtly throw the race either, so he tells her not to train, not to eat healthy, not to visualize herself crossing the finish line in first place in the expectation she will thus handicap herself and so lose the race while still apparently giving her best effort.

        • GV-San says:

          And to extend the metaphor further, if Hutchinson suffers a heart attack in the process of running the race, it’s of no concern to Passantino.

          That’s when it’s time to hire a new coach!

  14. Jenny says:

    Thank you Dr. Marcy.
    I don’t remember, I don’t recall, I have no recollection; however I was in the room where it happened.

  15. rip no longer says:

    ” Q Okay. Others have said that President Trump said, I made the wrong decision four years ago?

    Do you recall that.

    A Let me — can we take a two-second break, so I get the privilege down in my head? Because if I don’t recall something, I presume it’s not invoking anything, right?

    So can we take a five-minute break, so I can get my own ground rules covered.”

    It went from 2 seconds to 5 minutes. Did the voices in his ears tell him that they hadn’t concocted the answer yet and they needed a few minutes more?

    • emptywheel says:

      One thing Passantino told her he would do, and one thing I’ve seen in other depositions (particularly Daniel Hull’s with a random Proud Boy), they take breaks to interrupt the rhythm of the questioner. Claim there’s a delivery at the door. Some of these lawyers did so many depositions I think they got good at causing a failure of the Webex system when things got tough.

      • ceebee_dee says:

        Techniques to distort the whole truth in one’s skill set would go on the shadow resume only.
        How wearisome and sad.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Daniel Hull employs a variety of techniques, some of which don’t land very well with his clients. But Herschmann inserting a delay to break a questioner’s rhythm seems very much in character. I’m just curious why the J6C investigators weren’t ready to shoot down what you so clearly reveal to be his questionable assertions of privilege.

  16. Peter Lefevre says:

    Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer describes in detail how critical it is for a mass movement that intelligent and ambitious people abase themselves before the movement’s leader.

  17. bgThenNow says:

    The handwriting. That’s what I was thinking. I have not a minute of doubt identifying the handwriting of my mother or father. Of my brothers, my best friend’s mother, my friends, on and on. It is an easy memory trigger. I think about this often enough when going through old papers. It does not matter what it says. Random scraps of handwriting are like fingerprints in most every case.

    • P J Evans says:

      My mother signed my birth certificate. I recognize her handwriting, from having seen it so many times later on, including forms for school.
      And my father applied for a patent in 1938, when he was barely a senior in college (and got it in 1942); I can recognize his handwriting in some of the drawings.
      (I recognize some others: my father’s mother and his older sister both had distinctive handwriting.)

  18. Savage Librarian says:

    I forgot Herschmann was on the defense team for the 1st impeachment. That and Trump’s fondness for Favre, in addition to Herschmann’s connections to the business end of the election, all seem to add up to reasons why Passantino could have thought to tell Hutchinson, “we really want to work to protect Eric Herschmann.”

    “Trump attorney Eric Herschmann now representing Brett Favre amid Mississippi welfare scandal” – Steve Almasy, Dianne Gallagher, October 03, 2022
    “Herschmann left a prominent law firm after nearly 25 years to become a senior adviser to Trump in 2020 and was on his impeachment defense team.”

    “He has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol and also gave videotaped testimony to the House committee investigating the insurrection.”

    “CNN is told Herschmann was introduced to Favre through a mutual friend.”

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Thanks for the reminder, SL. I await the production of Our Mutual Friend, the play about how Eric Herschmann met Brett Favre. Is it a mystery? A spy thriller? Or a psychological drama in the tradition of Tennessee Williams/August Williams/some much-lesser-known Williams with ties to Maggie Haberman or Josh Dawsey? You have to see it to find out!

  19. David F. Snyder says:

    Speaking of Trump-whispering reporters, Devlin Barrett is bylined on a new article in the WaPo Politics section, about Jack Smith. It’s pretty pathetic to have to wait two months for these details on Smith at The Hague. The worst part, though, is the ham-handed spin on the Biden documents case.

    In any event, yay, Smith & Co. appear to be paying attention to the details like the curious testimonies of Herschmann. To my overactive imagination, that Herschmann Cipollone interaction sounds like Cipollone was not wanted at the Ellipse. Or maybe H really did just drop by to say hello.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Just went back to WaPo and read that Jack Smith article because you cited it, David Snyder; I’d skipped it earlier. While it opens with a useful summary of Smith’s work in Kosovo, Barrett and Helderman pivot from there to an indefensible litany of the “conflicts” that MAGA world has been screaming about regarding the Special Prosecutor(s)–even supplementing Trump et. al.’s list with additional ones.

      They do not, however, mention any analogous “conflicts” on the other side–not even the lowest-hanging fruit such as Aileen Cannon writing Trump’s legal briefs for him. So WaPo gives us both-sidesism…without a peek at the instigating side. This takes stenographic access journalism to a new low.

  20. Maureen A Donnelly says:

    Mr. Justice Bat turns out to be more like a justice hot dog soaking in the water of a push cart near a museum . . . lawyers know better but the power is driving them to shed their ethics? what a mess. what a horrific mess. i fear i’ll be mired in it for the rest of my days. not how i envisioned aging in merica.

  21. harpie says:
    1:30 AM · Jan 21, 2023

    Hugo Lowell:
    3:14 PM · Jan 20, 2023

    Trump special counsel Jack Smith is examining whether Trump’s frustration about Crossfire Hurricane docs not being made public after he ordered them declass’d was a criminal motive for him to retain some docs marked classified, per @murraywaas

    >>> Exclusive: Special Counsel has questioned several officials about Donald Trump’s handling of Russia probe papers. Trump’s conduct in that regard likely will play a role in any decision by prosecutors to charge Trump, say people close to the investigation. []
    Murray Waas 1/18/23

    […] Now, sources close to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation tell me that prosecutors have questioned at least three people about whether Trump’s frustrations may have been a motive in Trump taking away thousands of pages of presidential papers, a significant number of them classified, from the White House to Mar-A-Largo, in potential violation of federal law. One of these people was compelled to testify before a federal grand jury, the sources say.

    The sources say that prosecutors appear to believe the episode may be central to determining Trump’s intent for his unauthorized removal from the White House of the papers. […]

    Towards that end, the Special Counsel has zeroed in on conversations and communications between 1] the Justice Department, 2] the White House counsel, 3] then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, 4] other then-senior White House aides, and 5] Trump, in the final days—and even the final hours of his presidency. [I added the numbers][…]

    • harpie says:

      4] “other then-senior White House aides”
      [LIKE HERSCHMANN?, whom they want to particularly protect?]
      [“aide” vs “advisor”??]

      • harpie says:

        Ms. Hutchinson […] I did feel a need to protect certain people. But with somebody like Eric, I didn’t feel that need, I didn’t find it necessary. didn’t — I didn’t think that Eric did anything wrong at the time.

        Ms. Cheney. Did it have something to do with NARA?

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          harpie, thank you for pulling that NARA thread–and pulling it so hard. For months now I’ve suspected that Trump’s obsession with spreading the “Russia HOAX” (in other words, revivifying the dead Durham quest) narrative was a central factor in his unlawful document retention. He made public statements about having “proof” of his claims; his frustration that this goal got swamped by DOJ’s investigation (which *he* made public) seems among his dominant raisons d’etre.

          As always, your work connecting these crazy dots is invaluable.

  22. Florida Curmudgeon says:

    The Jan. 6 committee had little reason of its own to definitively resolve whose handwriting is on the notecard. And *not* doing so served a useful purpose.

    The committee presented both Hirschman and Hutchinson as first-hand witnesses of Trump’s inaction on Jan. 6 while the insurrection progressed. The committee would have undermined the credibility of one or the other of two helpful witnesses on that point, had it resolved the handwriter’s i.d. Doing so also would have fueled attention on the handwriting sideshow at the expense of one of most valuable and effectively-made points of the committee’s hearing presentation: that Trump’s own advisors and staff were deeply frustrated by his inaction on Jan. 6.

    The handwriting issue is more useful to the special counsel than the committee. It is puzzling as hell that Herschman — a lawyer — publicly and vocally contended he was the scribe *after* the handwritten notecard was enlarged and viewed by all at the committee’s June 28 hearing. That could be quite the hole for Herschman to dig himself out of, going forward, were the handwriting to be Hutchinson’s.

    If the handwriting is demonstrably hers, Herschman might have a remarkable improvement in memory about *lots* of things he couldn’t recall before the Jan. 6 committee when it comes to his testimony in the criminal investigation (before the grand jury or otherwise). The penmanship mystery, once resolved, could be more valuable to Jack Smith as a prosecution wedge than it was to the committee.

    On the other hand, if the penmanship on the notecard is Hersch’s and *not* Hutchinson’s, that will suck.

  23. bgThenNow says:

    Maybe the best thing about her testimony is her wondering why they wanted to protect him and her sense that he can take care of himself. It begs the question Marcy is considering. I’m looking forward to more of that.

Comments are closed.