The small galaxy of cowards who still revolve around former President Donald Trump will holler and shout dutifully that Cassidy Hutchinson, the Jan. 6 committee’s witness in a surprise hearing Tuesday, is a liar.
Such is their right, and it’s certainly an effective nonthinking person’s way to knock down her explosive testimony about how much Trump and his closest allies knew about the potential for violence on Jan. 6, 2021.
But until those calling Hutchinson a liar do what she did – testify under oath before a congressional committee – their words hold the combined worth of Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, Trump Airlines and Trump University.
Hutchinson's explosive testimony
Hutchinson was the top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the Trump administration. She was involved in a slew of conversations relating to the Jan. 6 Trump rally that led to an attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Her testimony Tuesday revealed a number of key details:
►That Jan. 2, Meadows told her that “things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6."
►Both the national security adviser and the White House deputy chief of staff for operations had expressed concerns that the Jan. 6 event could turn violent.
►On Jan. 6, before Trump spoke, he and Meadows were told many MAGA supporters were carrying weapons of all sorts. That testimony was corroborated by recordings of police radio activity that morning.
►She heard Trump, who was already angry about the crowd not being big enough, say he didn’t care if armed people were allowed to attend. She recalled the former president saying, “They're not here to hurt me,” and she said he wanted security to “take the f---ing” metal detectors away.
'This is the smoking gun'
There was more, of course. It was damning enough that Sol Wisenberg, former deputy to Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr, told The New York Times: “This is the smoking gun. There isn’t any question this establishes a prima facie case for (Trump’s) criminal culpability on seditious conspiracy charges.”
But what of Trump and Co.’s claims that she’s a liar or, as Trump wrote on his Truth Social page, “a total phony.” (He also wrote that she’s someone “I hardly know,” which it’s worth noting is what he says about virtually anyone who has ever spoken out against him.)
If Hutchinson were lying Tuesday, she can be and should be charged with perjury. If those denouncing her testimony as false are lying, the only consequence will be moving up a rung on the Trumpian ladder of dishonesty, a certain mark of valor in the court of Mar-a-Lago.
So I have one thing to say to those casting doubt on Hutchinson’s credibility: “If what she told the committee is wrong, come testify under oath and tell Congress and the nation what she got wrong.”
That’s when those without facts on their side get a little squirmy.
What are you? Chicken? Come testify.
The Twitter account for U.S. House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee tweeted this during the hearing: “It’s literally all hearsay evidence. What a joke.”
The joke in this case is that Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee apparently have a weak grasp on the definition of “hearsay.” Hearsay rules don’t apply to congressional hearings, first off, but more important, much of what Hutchinson testified about involved conversations she witnessed or was part of, so she was offering testimony of direct observations.
Furthermore, if the alleged “hearsay” is false, the parties being discussed are, as the committee members have made clear, more than welcome to come testify under oath, just as they would be called to do in a criminal trial.
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Hutchinson said Meadows sought a pardon relating to Jan. 6, which is not the kind of thing innocent people do. If that didn't happen, come testify under oath. Meadows has already been subpoenaed by the committee. Just sit down, swear to God you’ll tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and then detail exactly what Hutchinson got wrong in her testimony.
We fought to defend democracy. This new threat to America keeps us awake at night.
The same goes for the former president. All he has to do is raise his right hand and tell the American people, under threat of perjury, that the detailed, often firsthand testimony Hutchinson gave Tuesday – some of which was supported by testimony from other witnesses and by documentary evidence – is “phony.”
I’m sure the ratings would be huge!
Are you going to believe the lying liars?
But until that happens, until some of the key players in the former administration who lack the guts to share their version of events step forward, we can believe one of two things:
►The people who most aggressively spread the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, the people who rejected the peaceful transfer of power and spat out falsehoods like high-powered nonsense sprinklers, are telling the truth and Cassidy Hutchinson is a liar.
►Hutchinson, who previously interned for big-time Republicans like House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Sen. Ted Cruz, who was in near constant contact each day with Trump’s loyal chief of staff and who swore an oath before Congress and the nation, is telling the truth.
I know whom I believe. But if any of the nonsense sprinklers wants to prove me wrong, it’s easy: Come testify.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cassidy Hutchinson delivers explosive testimony to January 6 committee