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Former President Donald Trump’s temper is legendary, but former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s Jan. 6th hearing testimony exposed his angry and reckless desperation to remain in power. His callous, self-serving rage and disregard for others’ safety were the focal points of her sworn statements.
Hutchinson validated the beliefs of 57% of Americans: On Jan. 6, 2022, the 45th president sent his armed followers to “convince” Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to install him as the country’s first unelected autocrat.
Despite his claims otherwise, Trump knew there was talk of an insurrection before it happened. He knew because he callously and calculatedly provoked his supporters to help him illegally retain the presidency. He also knew his white supremacist supporters were only too happy to carry out a coup; after all, they had waited decades for the opportunity to “realign the U.S. government.”
Hutchinson testified she asked Rudy Guiliani to “explain what’s happening on the sixth.” He told her, “We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president’s going to be there.” On the other hand, her boss, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said there was going to be a lot going on and warned that “things might get [really] bad.”
During the hearing, Hutchinson recalled Trump’s disregard for the safety of those attending the Save America March rally and a physical altercation between the then-president and his secret service detail.
Hutchinson talked about the president’s reckless responses after hearing reports of several people trying to gain entrance to the rally carrying AR-15s, bear spray, Glock-style pistols, spears, and flagpoles, according to MSNBC.
Angrily, he insisted security admit these armed individuals into the rally. Trump’s demands, filled with expletives, threatened the safety of everyone in the vicinity of the ellipse, including himself, his family, other speakers, and White House staff members. Hutchinson said he did not care if they were armed: They were “his people. They’re not going to hurt me. They can march to the Capitol from here,” he declared.
He could care less about safety. Trump wanted a bigger rally crowd; it was too small. “He felt the mags (metal detectors) were at fault for not letting people in. He wanted it full, and he was angry that we weren’t letting people through the mags with weapons,” she explained.
Trump was one of 13 bloviating speakers who emboldened the crowd with “stolen election” rhetoric and other lies. When he took the stage, the rioters had already overwhelmed Capitol police the security barricades. Insurrectionists invaded the inaugural stage and entered the building.
When Trump gave his amped-up followers their marching orders, he assured them he would join them at the U.S. Capitol. Only his staff and Make America Great Again (MAGA) folks believed he would join the insurrectionists.
He brazenly told the crowd: “Fight for me. Fight for what we’re doing. Fight for the movement. We’re gonna walk down [to the Capitol] and I’ll be there with you,” Truthout reported.
However, his Secret Service detail, whose sole responsibility is to the safety of the Commander in Chief, refused to take him into the battlefield at the Capitol. Not only were there not enough agents to safely escort him up Pennsylvania Avenue, but the situation was code red.
Meadows’ aide recalled the story about the altercation between Trump and Robert Engel, head of the president’s personal security detail. “I’m the [expletive] president, take me to the Capitol now.”
“Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing,” Engel responded. “The president reached toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson recalled, according to MSNBC.
After Engel rebuked him, then he repeated they were not going to the Capitol. “Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge toward [Engel’s clavical],” the former White House aide added.
Hutchinson’s eyewitness testimony directly linked the former president to the armed violence unleashed against democracy.
Her words confirmed Americans’ belief that Trump should be ruthlessly investigated and stand before a judge and jury for the crimes he committed during his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, while president, for everything connected with “the stolen election,” and the insurrection. The Department of Justice must also review the former president’s fraudulent fundraising for his undeclared 2024 presidential candidacy.
Opinion by Cathy Milne-Ware
MSNBC: Why Cassidy Hutchinson’s January 6 testimony can’t be dismissed as ‘hearsay;’ by Steve Vladeck
MSNBC: VIDEO: Indictment? Trump Linked To Armed Violence By Star WH Witness; Host: MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber
People: Reagan’s Secret Service Supervisor Says a President Lunging at Security Detail Is Unheard Of: ‘Mind Boggling;’ by Diane Herbst and Amanda Taheri
WTTW: Aide: Trump Dismissed Jan. 6 Threats, Wanted to Join Crowd
TRUTHOUT: Did a White House Aide Just Pierce the Seemingly Impenetrable Trump Bubble? By William Rivers Pitt
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image by U.S. Army Pvt. Genesis Gomez at Department of Defense Courtesy of Picryl – Public Domain License