Analysis: Jan. 6 committee rebukes election that some GOP candidates keep running
It’s a dizzying reality unfolding on split-screen as the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, uprising warns of the dangers of voter fraud lies as Holocaust deniers seize on political appointments across the country.
Asset allegedly pounced on Secret Service agents after Ellipse’s speech. Hutchinson testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said Trump yelled, “I’m the fucking president. Take me to the Capitol now”, after his January 6 speech. trump then “stretched out his hand towards the front of the vehicle to grab the steering wheel”, Hutchinson remembered the apprenticeship.
She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “slotto Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge that day.
After the testimony, a Secret Service official with knowledge of the matter told CNN that Ornato denies telling Hutchinson that the former president seized the steering wheel or an agent on his detail.
The Secret Service, through the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Legislative Affairs, advised the committee Tuesday afternoon that it would make the officers involved available to testify under oath, the official said. Officers are prepared to say under oath that the incident itself did not happen.
Apathy towards armed supporters. “I heard the president say something like, ‘I don’t care if they have guns. They’re not here to hurt me” Hutchinson said in previously recorded testimony that aired on Tuesday. She said she heard Trump ask that the metal detectors be removed.
“Take the f**king mags out. Let my people in, they can walk to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take out the F-ing mags.”
The White House anticipated the chaos. On January 2, 2021, Hutchinson said that Meadows scrolls through her phone; I remember leaning against the door and saying, ‘I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. Looks like we’re going to the Capitol. He didn’t look up from his phone and said something like, ‘There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, things could get really bad on January 6.'”
She added: “Tonight was the first moment I remember being scared and nervous about what might happen on January 6.”
A few days before the riot, Rudy Giuliani previewed the plans. “Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day. … We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The President is going to be there, it’s going to look powerful.” Giuliani said, according to Hutchinson.
Now consider the 2022 primaries so far
The next critical measure of Republican tolerance for election denial came on Tuesday night.
Anderson, who will face Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold in November, has the endorsement of current and former lawmakers, including three former secretaries of state.
Even in the illogical world of election denial, Peters has been a remarkable figure.
Peters has also repeatedly aligned herself with far-right figures who have advanced Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud. She appeared at the “Cyber Symposium,” a gathering of Holocaust deniers last year where a host of debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were promoted, and in Colorado with MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell .
Can anything break through the noise of election denial?
The task is daunting. But if there’s anything this far back from the Jan. 6 hearings that might resonate with Trump loyalists who buy into his campaign lies, it might be testimony like Hutchinson’s.
Far from being a critic of Trump, Hutchinson worked in the White House in close proximity to the then-president when he was contesting the 2020 election – giving his story unique credibility.
Trump on Tuesday tried to frame Hutchinson’s testimony as revenge, saying she was “very upset and angry that I don’t want her” joining his post-presidency team at his Palm Beach residence. But those around the former president had very different takeaways.
- “It paints a picture of Trump being completely unbalanced and completely out of control, which for his base sees him as someone in command at all times. It goes completely against that,said a Trump adviser.
- “This is basically a campaign ad for (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis 2024,” another Trump ally told CNN.
- “Anyone who downplays Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or his access to the West Wing also fails to understand how the Trump [White House] worked or tries to discredit her because they are afraid to see how damning this testimony is”, former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews tweeted.
Whether Republican voters have a similar reaction remains to be seen. But it’s hard to imagine a more compelling rebuke of election denial than the one presented Tuesday by the Jan. 6 commission.
This story was updated with additional reports on Tuesday.
CNN’s Josh Campbell, Gabby Orr and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.