Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin thinks that there are far more witnesses being subjected to Donald Trump's intimidation than the members are aware of.
At the close of the Tuesday afternoon hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) revealed that another witness that the public had not seen got a phone call from the former president. From what the officials have said about the call, the person didn't answer the phone and all that is known is that the call was made. Had the person answered the call the witness could have testified to what was said. Without answering, however, there's little that can be done, legal experts explained.
Last week, Cheney showed two examples of witness tampering, that were not only specific but could be investigated, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig explained. One incident includes former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
The message to her said that an unnamed person "let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal, and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition."
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Another example from a witness said, "What they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I'm on the team, I'm doing the right thing, I'm protecting who I need to protect, you know, I'll continue to stay in the good graces in Trump world. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just keep that in mind as I proceed through my depositions and interviews with the committee."
Griffin told CNN that she spoke to former communications aide Sarah Matthews and there was no conversation about witness tampering.
"So, Cassidy had told me prior to her testimony that she felt like she wasn't empowered under her previous representation to share all the information she knew," said Griffin. "She got that new counsel. From Sarah Matthews, she has not told me she's feeling pressure. I'm very curious who this figure is Liz Cheney referred to. Regardless of what it is, I believe strongly that this pressure and intimidation is more widespread than even the committee knows it to be. It is the playbook of Trump's world to intimidate and say we know he's going to be watching and using somebody like Cassidy as an example — the way they've gone after her, attacked her credibility, talked about her finances, her family, her background. Nothing is off limits. That's another form of intimidation to keep people from coming forward."
These witnesses weren't the only ones who faced witness tampering, apparently, Trump has done it in other cases.
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Speaking to former impeachment lawyer and ethics czar Norm Eisen in his "Mea Culpa" podcast, Michael Cohen acknowledged that he too got some of the team treatment early on in his questioning while still working for Trump. Eisen called them "veiled messages."
"Yeah, you were told, for example, I know because we studied this in the impeachment as part of the obstruction of justice count against the former President Trump," Eisen recalled. "You were told, 'You have friends in high places. You should sleep well tonight.' Right?"
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that even an attempt to reach out like that is concerning.
See the conversation with Griffin below:
There are likely far more witnesses being intimidated by Trump than the committee knows: aide www.youtube.com