Yesterday was an interesting day at the January 6th Committee with the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House and Congressional intern who graduated to become one of the senior aides for Mark Meadows, Trump’s last Chief of Staff.
Aside from being very tall, Hutchinson is also very young. The woman is only 25. Her career, after graduating from Christopher Newport University (I’d never heard of it either) consisted mostly of interning in high places — where she obviously proved to be quite competent — before she was plucked by Meadows to join his team. She looked scared to death before testifying (why wouldn’t she be?) but performed admirably nonetheless.
She was apparently an “emergency” witness because she has been the subject of attempted witness tampering — and she hasn’t been the only one — and who knows, maybe the Committee thought somebody might actually try to take her out.
Like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinziger before her, Hutchinson proved that there are still Republicans with integrity, although they are a vanishing minority. For now. They may have to rebuild from the ground up once they finally free themselves from the stain of Trump, whenever that happens.
Anyway, I’m not really treading new ground here — after all, there was a lot of commentary yesterday — but here are some of the highlights of what I saw:
- First of all, it was so typical of Trump to be concerned about the size of his crowd at the Ellipse. So concerned that he demanded that they take down the magnetometers. “Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.”
- Apparently Trump really thought he was going to march on the Capitol himself — as he had told his crowd — and intended to go into the House chamber. What he thought he was going to do there isn’t so clear.
- Trump really is as big a dick as we all thought he was. From choking the head of his secret service detail, to trying to grab the wheel of his SUV, to throwing his lunch against the wall and breaking dishes, this guy is the biggest overgrown toddler ever.
- If Trump had actually managed to make it to the Capitol, he could have been charged with inciting a riot, which his White House counselor (Pat Cipollone) was desperately trying to prevent.
- Both Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliano also asked Trump for pre-emptive pardons, along with the half-dozen congressmen who have previously been identified. As other commentators have already pointed out, you don’t ask for a pardon unless you think you’ve done something illegal.
- Former general and already-pardoned Trump acolyte Michael Flynn had to “plead the 5th” to the question of whether the United States should engage in a “peaceful transfer of power.” Seriously? You had to plead the 5th to that?
- Trump’s people have been engaged in witness tampering from Mar-a-Lago, texting messages and making calls to potential witnesses asking them to remain “loyal” and letting them know that “he” is watching.
This really is becoming something out of a bad Mafia movie, which should surprise no one who is familiar with what Michael Cohen reported in his book about his years working for Trump.
In any case, yesterday’s hearing should provide plenty of food for thought for quite a few days to come, and brings the attention of the country back to the hearings and away from the Dobbs decision, for a moment.