The former White House aide testified that Trump knew his supporters were armed and wanted to march with them to the U.S. Capitol, and that he agreed with their threats to hang Vice President Mike Pence, and former federal prosecutor Harry Litman reacted to those revelations on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"I thought it was extraordinarily powerful," Litman said. "The main thing it did was take the element of violence, the actual riot on the ground which we all saw, and people might have thought before had happened spontaneously or was a crowd run amok, and it seemed to present it as something the former president actually wanted and fomented."
Hutchinson was the top aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, so she had a closeup view of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, and Litman said that gave her testimony even more weight.
"Everything she testifies to involving advance warning, of knowledge that President Trump is fine, if not eager, to see his vice president harmed, knowledge that if they go down to the Capitol, they'll be guilty of every crime imaginable," Litman said, quoting her testimony about a warning issued by White House counsel Pat Cipollone. "She testifies to that as a 25-year-old aide, putting tremendous pressure on her boss, Mark Meadows, who has so far been silenced. It puts specific and intense pressure on Mark Meadows and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel."
Hutchinson's testimony also puts more pressure on attorney general Merrick Garland to prosecute some of the crimes alleged by witnesses in the House Select Committee hearings.
"Here's where I am if I'm the Department of Justice," Litman said. "There has been, and you just talked about it up front, pretty strong evidence of obstruction. The facts as sort of teased out, because we haven't had everything, stated a case much stronger than those convicted. The DOJ hates that crime. I think they're proceeding methodically, but they may be at the point of zeroing in on Mark Meadows, who could be the linchpin to everything."
"There are many actors besides him who could be in the crosshairs," Litman said. "Everyone is very eager for them to go quickly. They've already done the biggest investigation of all time with the folks on the ground, and they're not going to go quickly. They'll go methodically. At the end of the day, there will be much to consider, but on just the question of the evidence, the normal requirements for prosecution, is he guilty? Will you get a conviction? I think it's become a quite strong case, and an even potentially stronger one against others who we have things to say about him, starting with Mark Meadows."
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