Newly released transcripts from an interview with star witness Cassidy Hutchinson by a House Jan. 6 committee reduce the impact of her testimony and the investigation by what she called the “Trump world.” It details efforts to withhold information from government officials.
The transcript details Hutchinson’s arduous journey to secure an attorney after being subpoenaed by the panel in February. He explains in detail why he became more proactive in
It also provides new information on efforts to contact her prior to her testimony, which panel members publicly stated they believed counted as witness intimidation.
After Hutchinson, an aide to both White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former President Trump, gave explosive testimony about Trump’s efforts to reach the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, 9 Two copies of the moon have arrived. supporter.
Hutchinson described an early meeting with her first attorney, Stefan Passantino.
Hutchinson also said Passantino rejected her efforts to review the calendar and told the 26-year-old that her role in the White House needed to be downplayed. Trump.
“Look, we want you in, we want you out. We downplay your role. You were a secretary.” I said I said
“Better than I remember,” Passantino told her, Hutchinson said.
According to Hutchinson’s testimony, Passantino was told that after Trump was told he would not be able to join supporters at the Capitol, he rushed at a security guard and got behind the wheel. It is said that he recommended it to
Passantino told her it was about former Secret Service agent and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato. Hutchinson first heard from Ornato, she said at a Jan. 6 panel in one of the most shocking moments of Summer’s testimony.
“No no no no no. We don’t want to go there. We don’t want to talk about it,” Hutchinson said Passantino told her, according to the record.
At one point during the first round of depositions to the commission, Pasantino encouraged her to say she didn’t remember all the events, even though she was having trouble remembering details. .
“I don’t want you to perjure me, but ‘I don’t remember’ is not perjury. They don’t know what you can and can’t remember,” Hutchinson said Passantino told her. rice field.
Asked for comment on Thursday, Passantino said, “Like all clients in my 30-year practice, I treat Ms. Hutchinson honorably, ethically, and as the only person she has ever communicated to me.” We have represented it in a way that is fully consistent with our interests,” he said.
Hutchinson also described the apprehension he felt about receiving Passantino’s services for free, and how he explained to his mother why he didn’t feel comfortable receiving free legal advice through Trump’s network. I got
“I’m fed up,” she said to her mother. “I am completely indebted to these people.
According to the minutes, she went on to explain to the committee, “Once you’re caught in a loop, there’s no going back to them, especially financially.”
Hutchinson said that Meadows’ aide, Ben Williamson, had called her before her testimony and Meadows said, “I know you are loyal and that you will do the right thing tomorrow, and that you will do what is right for him.” And I know you intend to defend your boss,” he said in a testimony released by the panel.
It is this call that may have been witness intimidation that a panel member publicly suggested without naming Williamson.
After showing some of Hutchinson’s testimony about the call with Williamson, Commission Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said, “Most Americans want witnesses to give false testimony. I think you know that attempts to do so raise very serious concerns.
Williamson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The transcript also goes into great detail about Hutchinson’s efforts to find a job through her correspondence with the committee, with Passantino and others at the Trump Network saying that after being unemployed for months after Trump’s loss, she lost her job. promises to connect her with people who can help her land the gig…
“We put you in a really good job at Trump World.
But as time went on, Hutchinson said he became more and more wary of Passantino’s legal advice. At one point, she reached out to former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farrar Griffin to find out more about the motorcade incident after Trump’s Jan. 6 rally address and other incidents she had done. I wanted to pass on the information, so I asked him to act as a back channel to the committee. She was advised to stay away.
Hutchinson said Pasantino seemed surprised when he was invited to the third panel discussion. At that point, he said it was Trump-related funds that were paying for his work, and he didn’t think he could justify further cooperation unless forced by the committee, Hutchinson said. said in his testimony.
“Without a second subpoena, Trump World will not continue to pay your legal fees,” he told her.
In a third interview with the panel on January 6, Hutchinson further shared what he knew about the convoy incident.
“I was trying to be as candid as I was. I didn’t hold back,” she said in her transcript.
“This was the first time I took a problem into my own hands and, you know, I did what I did. ”
Hutchinson eventually decided to break up with Pasantino because he downplayed the risk of criminal prosecution when she began to fear that Pasantino would be insulted if he did not cooperate further with the commission.
“Contempt is a small risk,” he reportedly told her.
Transcripts show that she told him she was hiring a new lawyer and refused to receive further calls.
Passantino then took a leave of absence from the law firm.
“Ms. Hutchinson has been honest and cooperative with the Commission throughout the several interviews I have conducted on her behalf. It is not uncommon for clients to change attorneys as their interests and strategies change. It is not uncommon for third parties, including political committees, to bear the client’s fees, depending on the law,” he said.
at one point during her September interviewHutchinson apologized to the panel for taking the time to tell her everything she knew.
“I followed his bad legal advice. I took his bad legal advice. I own it. There is,” she told the committee, according to the minutes.
“It has long been clear that he does not represent my interests in how he knew I wanted to further my relationship with the Commission. This moment did not completely destroy my reputation, my character and my integrity, for reasons I am against,” she said.
– 2:22pm update