Trump Aide at 1/6 Hearing: Trump Ignored Warnings, Wanted to Join Capitol Mob

A former top White House aide testified to the January 6 committee that Donald Trump ignored warnings about armed protesters headed to the Capitol and tried to join the mob himself.


A former top White House aide testified to the January 6 committee that Donald Trump ignored warnings about armed protesters headed to the Capitol and tried to join the mob himself.

  • Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was the star witness at a last-minute hearing of the Democratic-led committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
  • Hutchinson testified Trump was warned protesters heading to the Capitol were armed but told Secret Service to remove magnetometers from outside his rally because they were “not there to hurt me” and encouraged protesters to march on the Capitol even after these warnings.
  • Hutchinson painted a picture of an unstable president prone to bursts of anger, recounting incidents where Trump reportedly threw his lunch at a White House wall and an altercation in the presidential limo where Trump reportedly lunged for the steering wheel after Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol to join the mob on January 6.
  • Hutchinson testified under oath that Trump thought Mike Pence “deserved” the chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” and didn’t think the Capitol rioters were “doing anything wrong.”
  • Two former top White House officials denied that Trump lunged for the steering wheel in the presidential limo, and Trump denied her account, calling it “sick” and “fraudulent.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times argued Tuesday’s hearings “highlighted the legal risks” for Trump. Former Trump attorney general Bill Barr said “this hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on.”
  • CNN called the hearings “shocking” and emphasized Hutchinson’s testimony on White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s comments during the riot. Cipollone warned Meadows that if they didn’t do more to stop the riots, “people are going to die and the blood’s gonna be on your f**king hands.”
  • The Washington Post emphasized Hutchinson’s claim that Trump wanted to personally lead the march on the Capitol and the confirmation that Meadows and Rudy Giuliani both sought presidential pardons for their actions on that day.



  • The Wall Street Journal pointed out Hutchinson’s testimony put former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows “in the hot seat.” Hutchinson alleged under oath that Meadows knew beforehand things could get “real, real bad” on January 6 and sought a presidential pardon related to the events of that day.
  • Fox News highlighted the “conflicting accounts” that emerged after the hearing. Secret Service agents indicated they were willing to testify under oath Trump never lunged for the steering wheel, although they did not contradict the rest of her testimony.
  • Commentary, which had previously been skeptical that the January 6 committee would have any real impact, now writes that “Trump is in deep, deep, deep, deep trouble.” John Podhoretz, the editor-in-chief, wrote he “did not think this day would come” but “there’s no question now that Donald Trump is staring down the barrel of an indictment for seditious conspiracy against the government of the United States.”

Author’s Take

If Hutchinson’s testimony is true, it paints an incredibly damning portrait of a president derelict in his duty on January 6, 2021. The testimony that Trump cared more about the crowd size at the rally than the fact his supporters were reportedly armed checks out with the president’s past as a TV executive and is reminiscent of the inaugural crowd size controversy from his very first day in office. If Trump truly said he didn’t care because “they weren’t here to hurt me,” who did the president think they were there to hurt? And why, as the President of the United States sworn to uphold the law, didn’t he care?

The allegations of Trump throwing food and lunging at the Secret Service have naturally gained the most attention, and at least the allegations of his behavior in the limo may be overblown. Commentary associate editor Noah Rothman pointed out a much more disturbing revelation from her testimony: Hutchison corroborated previous reports that Trump refused to contact law enforcement or the Pentagon during the attack on the Capitol. The president told Mark Meadows he didn’t “think they were doing anything wrong,” forcing Vice President Pence to seize power through extraconstitutional means to fulfill the presidential oath to defend the Constitution from the president’s supporters.

Ketchup dripping down the walls may get the most attention, but presidential dereliction of duty without modern precedent is the real story of Hutchinson’s testimony.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022