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At the end of Tuesday's hearing, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots revealed that some of its witnesses had received messages encouraging them to not offer incriminating information about former President Donald Trump.
According to one witness's sworn testimony, they were told that they would "continued to stay in good graces in Trump World" as long as "I'm doing the right thing, I'm protecting who I need to protect."
Reacting to this, CNN legal analyst Eli Honig said this tactic reminded him of some of the things he saw while working as a federal prosecutor at the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
"A lot of people have observed that that's how a mob boss talks," said Honig. "I have prosecuted actual mob bosses here in New York City, that is how they talk... What else is mob-like about this, it wasn't the boss, it wasn't Donald Trump conveying that message directly to Cassidy Hutchinson, it was some unnamed intermediary. That's how they do it."
Honig said that whoever sent the message will not be immune from legal scrutiny, however.
"If we can prove who said that, that is textbook witness tampering, obstruction of justice," he said. "So DOJ ought to be taking a look at this. The other things to remember, we were asking a few days ago why the emergency hearing? Why this unscheduled hearing suddenly appearing? I believe it's because they feared if somebody got in Cassidy Hutchinson's ear, a simple well-placed sentence could have knocked her off path, intimidated her."
Watch the video below or at this link.
Messages shown by J6 Committee were 'textbook witness tampering' www.youtube.com
Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.
But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.
Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.
And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.
Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.
After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.
“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.
“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”
Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.
Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.
“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”
Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.
Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.
Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.’”
As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.
“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.
Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.
Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”
His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.
Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.
Trump wanted to see Mike Pence and members of Congress ‘killed or taken hostage’: presidential historian
Historian Michael Bechloss told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson had revealed shocking evidence that the former president was risking "mass assassinations" of Vice President Mike Pence and Congress members in his attempt to violently overturn his election loss on Jan. 6, 2021.
"Everything that [Richard] Nixon did in the 1970s is put in the shade by what we have seen here," Bechloss said. "Nixon didn't send armed terrorists up to the Capitol, and by everything that we are learning now what Donald Trump wanted to see on the 6th of January was violence. There's every sign that he wanted to see members of Congress shot or killed or taken hostage, including his vice president, who, of course, is the president of the Senate."
"Have we ever seen a president do 100th of that in the whole history of the United States?" he added. "Historically, every other president is in one category. Donald Trump is in a category of his own."
Watch the video below.
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