A former White House aide who served under Donald Trump is due to testify at an abruptly called hearing of the congressional panel investigating last year’s assault on the US Capitol after new “evidence” was uncovered in the proceedings.
Cassidy Hutchinson who worked for Mark Meadows, Trump’s final chief of staff as president, is expected to testify publicly on Tuesday afternoon, in the latest proceedings of the committee probing the January 6 attack by a mob of Trump supporters.
The bipartisan panel had not expected to hold any hearings this week, but suddenly changed its plans to “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony”, it said. Tuesday’s hearing is due to begin at 1pm EST.
Hutchinson’s testimony could prove to be crucial in detailing Meadows’ involvement in Trump’s efforts to foment the attack on the Capitol and overturn the results of the 2020 election, as well as the former president’s efforts to cling to power despite his defeat to Joe Biden.
Since they began this month, the public hearings of the January 6 committee have proven more damaging to Trump than expected, showing the lengths he went to pressure state officials, his own justice department and vice-president Mike Pence, as well as a violent mob, to stop the certification of Biden’s victory.
Hutchinson has testified privately to the committee previously and parts of her deposition were aired during a hearing last week. In one of the clips, she named some of the Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives who asked Trump for pardons in connection with their efforts to overturn the election. Hutchinson was a former Republican aide in the House of Representatives before moving to the White House.
The committee has sought not only to reconstruct the events of January 6 2001, but also to capture what led to the riot and Trump’s actions during that period.
As the panel has laid out its case, calls have grown for the justice department to prosecute Trump for trying to stop Biden’s victory, but it is far from clear whether Merrick Garland, the attorney-general, will take that step.