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Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming made a compelling case that Donald Trump's supporters committed obstruction of justice by attempting to intimidate witnesses prior to their testimony before the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Following bombshell testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, Cheney dropped a bombshell in her closing statement.
She did not name names, but put on the committee's giant screens two electronic messages sent to witnesses.
\u201cWe commonly ask witnesses connected to Trump whether they have been contacted by anyone attempting to impact testimony.\n\nBelow are examples of answers we have received to this question.\u201d— January 6th Committee (@January 6th Committee) 1656442519
Former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney predicted the testimony would be damaging for Trump.
"Cheney's closing is stunning: they think they have evidence of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. There is an old maxim: it's never the crime, it's always the coverup," he wrote. "Things went very badly for the former President today. My guess is that it will get worse from here."
Legal experts also immediately offered their analysis of the messages.
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman wrote, "assuming that's Trump it is a layup of an obstruction felony count."
"Mob bosses send messages to witnesses that say things like they know they're testifying soon, they should stay on the team, the boss reads the transcripts. [Committee] witnesses testified they received that type of message," wrote former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance.
"This is the most astonishing testimony I have ever seen or heard or read. You could litigate or investigate for a thousand years and never see anything as mind-blowing as this," wrote conservative attorney George Conway.
"Pretty safe bet there will be referrals to DOJ for witness tampering based on that last revelation from Cheney. Remarkably stupid behavior," said former Department of Justice spokesperson Matt Miller.
"How do you square 'things got out of hand' and Trump 'didn't track all the details' with 'he reads transcripts'?" wondered MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber.
\u201cWe've gone from... \n\n"What did POTUS know and when did he know it" to..\n\n"How did POTUS help armed insurrectionists and for how long?"\n\nWow.\u201d— Ari Melber (@Ari Melber) 1656444363
"Prosecutors know what constitutes witness tampering and obstruction of justice. In cities across this country they prosecute alleged gang leaders & conspirators for sending messages like this. To ignore this shreds the rule of law," wrote civil rights attorney Sherrilyn Ifill.
Ambassador Norm Eisen, who served as co-counsel for the House Judiciary Committee in Trump's first indictment, noted the former president could be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
"Make no mistake, those texts we just saw will certainly lead to criminal investigation & perhaps prosecution under 18 USC 1512, which punishes witness intimidation with fines, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both," he wrote.
Yevgency Vindman, who was an Army Judge Advocate and was retaliated by the Trump administration declared it was, "Brazen witness intimidation and obstruction of congress by Trump world."
Law Prof. Jen Taub said witness intimidation is Trump's modus operandi.
\u201cAnd another example\u201d— Jennifer Taub \ud83c\udf3b \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Jennifer Taub \ud83c\udf3b \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1656441185
White House counsel Pat Cipollone reportedly worried they would all be charged with obstruction of justice, along with "every crime imaginable."
\u201cFormer Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testifies about what Trump WH counsel Pat Cipollone told her on the morning of January 6th:\n\n\u201cPlease make sure we don\u2019t go up to the Capitol ... We\u2019re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.\u201d\u201d— The Recount (@The Recount) 1656438927
The former girlfriend and alleged accomplice to billionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has been sentenced to 20 years in prison this Tuesday, according to reports.
Ghislaine Maxwell was also ordered to pay a $750,000 fine. Maxwell, 60, was found guilty in December of recruiting, enticing and transporting minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein.
"To you, all the victims ... I am sorry for the pain that you experienced," Maxwell said after listening to numerous victims who gave victim impact statements. "It is my sincerest wish to all those in this courtroom and to all those outside this courtroom that this day brings a terrible chapter to the end, to an end. And to those of you who spoke here today and those of you who did not, may this day help you travel from darkness into the light."
Prosecutors said Epstein, who committed suicide in his jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial, sexually abused children for more than a decade, and relied on the assistance of Maxwell for assistance.
Read more at PEOPLE Magazine.
Jan. 6 committee member calls hearing testimony proof this wasn't a 'spontaneous thing' that just 'got out of hand'
WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the main things revealed in the last-minute Tuesday hearing with Cassidy Hutchinson before the House Select Committee is that days ahead of the attack on Congress, the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, kept mentioning the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper militias.
When they were at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, Hutchinson revealed that Trump didn't want officials to use metal detectors so people with weapons could enter the event.
Hutchinson claimed in her testimony that former president Trump said, “I don’t f***ing care if they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f***ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f***ing mags away."
For some, the testimony connected the dots for what the White House knew — and when they knew it, working to dispel the argument that the crowd simply got out of hand on Jan. 6.
What Hutchinson indicated in the hearing Tuesday, is that the White House knew Trump supporters could get violent, and they were being encouraged to do it.
"It was really important to underscore the president and his aides understood the violence that was going to unfold — they understood it as it was unfolding," Committee member Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) told Raw Story after the hearing. "They chose not to act. You know, what I keep saying is that it underscored for me that the Jan. 6 riot wasn't a spontaneous thing, you know, a couple of First Amendment protesters who got out of hand. The president knew these people were armed and he called on them to come down to the Capitol."
Murphy went on to explain that there were "a lot of other things that led up to this moment" but that Cassidy Hutchinson's main revelations "allowed people a first-hand perspective inside the White House in the days leading up to the insurrection."
With additional reporting from Matt Laslo.