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Cassidy Hutchinson Said Trump Allies Urged Her to Limit Jan. 6 Testimony

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WASHINGTON—A special committee released a transcript of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s oral testimony on Jan. He pointed out the efforts of lawyers and others in Japan.

Hutchinson, who was an aide to Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had by the time he gave his most dramatic live testimony before the commission in June, his first lawyer, Stephen. Passantino was fired. She wanted Trump to be driven to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and when his order was denied, she took the wheel with the Secret Service. I was told that I struggled to get hold of it.

In testimony that took place in September and was released by the commission on Thursday, Hutchinson said he would try to pressure the commission on Jan. 6 to provide misleading testimony to Trump. She recounted extensive campaigns by close individuals and what she saw.

“There were people in the Trump world who were a little more concerned as I got closer to the committee and I had access and insight into what was going on in the last few months.” she testified.

A 138-page transcript of Mr. Hutchinson’s September 14 testimony was released ahead of the commission’s final report.

After receiving a subpoena to testify before the commission, Hutchinson contacted former White House colleagues of President Trump and others with ties to the former president for help in finding a lawyer. She said she didn’t have the money to pay an attorney at the time and was directed to contact a number of attorneys with ties to Trump who could represent her without asking for a fee.

Hutchinson said he first met Pasantino in early 2022. formal engagement letter.

“That was the first alarm bell that went off in my head,” she told the commission.

She said she asked Mr. Passantino who was paying him. “We are not telling you where the money is coming from right now,” Hutchinson said.

According to Hutchinson’s testimony, Passantino told the committee at a Feb. 16 meeting that he would “disrespect” his role in the White House. “You were a secretary. You had an administrative role,” she said. “Everyone is on the same page about this.”

A House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol has revealed four criminal referrals to the Justice Department from former President Donald Trump. Riot. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/Associated Press

She testified that she became concerned that Passantino was being paid by individuals with ties to Trump, and that when a person becomes financially involved in Trump’s orbit, she sees “backtracking.” I can’t,” he told the committee.

In a conversation with Passantino, Hutchinson revealed that he knew there had been a clash in the president’s limousine after Trump’s Jan. He testified that he had expressed concern that he would raise questions.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Passantino replied, according to Hutchinson. “We don’t want to go there. The less the committee thinks you know, the better.”

Passantino said in a statement: I believe that Mr. Hutchinson has been honest and supportive with the Commission throughout the several interviews I conducted on his behalf. ”

He said it was not uncommon for “clients to change attorneys” or “third parties, including political committees, to cover the client’s fees at the client’s request,” and took a leave of absence from law firm Michael Best. added that he had taken & Friedrich LLP.

Hutchinson testified that Passantino never told her to lie, and said telling the commission “I don’t remember” was not perjury. Passantino reportedly said to her, “Better not remember.”

“I just want to focus on defending the president,” Mr. Pasantino said at a meeting the day he filed a deposition with the commission on February 23, Mr. Hutchinson said. “We all know you are loyal,” she said, adding that Mr. Passantino brought up job opportunities, which she said would be discussed after the deposition.

“I felt like Donald Trump was looking over my shoulder,” Hutchinson said in his first interview.

Cassidy Hutchinson said she was told former President Donald Trump wanted to drive to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.


Photo:

Sean Shu/Associated Press

During the interview, the committee asked Mr. Hutchinson about what happened inside the presidential limousine on January 6. She told the commission she could not remember what happened. During an intermission, she testified that she told Mr. Pasantino, “Stefan … I just lied.”

According to Hutchinson, “They don’t know you know Cassidy,” he told her.

The committee then asked for another interview in March. The night before the interview, she said she exchanged views with Mr. Meadows’ former aide, Ben Williamson. According to Hutchinson, Williamson told her, Meadows said, “I hope you are loyal, that you do the right thing tomorrow, and that you protect him, boss.”

Hutchinson told the commission that after some of her testimony appeared in the commission’s brief, she felt mentally debilitated because she felt she had given misleading testimony. “I was sick of myself,” she said. She later confided in an unnamed Republican congressman.

Hutchinson said he arranged a third interview through a back channel to the commission. Passantino, who accompanied her interview, said she was shocked at how much the committee knew about events at the White House.

After determining that Mr. Passantino provided improper legal advice, she emailed him on June 9, saying she had ended her attorney-client relationship.

—Alex Leary contributed to this article.

Write to Scott Patterson at [email protected].

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