Cassidy Hutchinson was an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the wild last days of the Trump administration. Hutchinson has met with the House of Representatives’ Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol multiple times and has reportedly sat for more than 20 hours of interviews. Here’s what you need to know about the person who “might turn out to be the next John Dean,” as the Brookings Institution senior fellow Norm Eisen has described Hutchinson, when the committee holds a prime-time hearing on Thursday, January 9.
Her revelations have “covered new ground”
Hutchinson has testified that the White House Counsel’s office informed Meadows and Rudy Giuliani that it would not be legal for states that Donald Trump lost to send slates of “alternate electors” instead of the electors who had, you know, been elected by voters.
She also said Meadows had been informed in advance about the “the potential for violence” on January 6. Politico reported last month that Hutchinson told the committee she had witnessed Meadows “incinerate documents after a meeting in his office with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.).”
Perry, she said in testimony that the committee made public, had wanted to encourage Trump fans to go to the Capitol, while others on a planning call were “more inclined to go with White House guidance.” Perry was someone Meadows stayed in touch on January 6, as was US Representative Jim Jordan.
What she said may be foundational to the committee’s case
As Aaron Blake explained in the Washington Post in April:
To meet the legal standard for obstructing an official proceeding — the crime the Jan. 6 committee has zeroed in on — you need to prove that the actions obstructed the proceeding and that they were undertaken with corrupt intent (i.e., knowing that what they were doing was wrong).
Hutchinson’s testimony would appear to provide proof of both.
She also reportedly testified that Trump was on board with hanging Mike Pence
Meadows “told colleagues that President Donald J. Trump was complaining that the vice president was being whisked to safety” on January 6, the New York Times reported last month:
Mr. Meadows, according to an account provided to the House committee investigating Jan. 6, then told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hanged.
Hutchinson confirmed that account to the committee, the Times reported.
She’ll probably testify live
Hutchinson “is likely to testify live before the committee, complemented by video footage of previous interviews before investigators,” the Post reports. How can she do so when Trump and allies are circling the wagons and even planning to “counterprogram” against the hearing? The Post notes Hutchinson is “no longer a figure in Trump’s orbit or Republican politics.”
She got to the White House via internships
Hutchinson interned for US Senator Ted Cruz and for US Representative Steve Scalise before she entered the White House summer internship program in 2018. “My small contribution to the quest to maintain American prosperity and excellence is a memory I will hold as one of the honors of my life,” she told her now alma mater, Christopher Newport University, that fall. She was hired into the White House’s Office of Legislative Affairs in March 2019, became Meadows’s executive assistant in March 2020, and added the title special assistant to the president, office of the chief of staff in May of that year. Her tenure ended in January 2021 after Trump (unwillingly) left office.