The American winter which slapped the cheeks despite the clear blue sky of January 6, 2021 had not dampened the ardor of Donald Trump. Already suspected of having fomented the assault of several thousand sympathizers on the Capitol the day after his electoral defeat against Joe Biden, the former president of the United States no longer seems able to hide his intention, this day. there, to join the insurgents.
This is what emerges from the testimony of a former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, heard by the commission of inquiry responsible for shedding light on the riots that took place on the day of the certification by Congress of the Joe Biden victory. A member of Donald Trump’s cabinet and a close associate of White House Secretary General Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson described how Donald Trump, despite being informed of the violence unfolding outside the Capitol, attempted to join the crowd. After being sworn in before the commission, which has already heard nearly 1,000 witnesses, the young woman reported several conversations, held within the White House or between relatives of the former tenant of the Oval Office, which allow us to better understand this day.
Four days before the attack, Rudy Giuliani challenges Cassidy Hutchinson. Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is particularly enthusiastic about the idea that Donald Trump supporters can challenge his presidential defeat suffered a few weeks earlier: “Cass, are you excited for January 6?” lawyer. “It’s going to be a great day. … We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be awesome! The president is going to be there, he’s going to look powerful,” he continues.
Concerned, Cassidy Hutchinson opened up to the secretary general, Mark Meadows. When she walks into Meadows’ office to tell him about the conversation she’s just had, he looks worried: “There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, it could get really, really bad January 6.” “That night is the first time I remember feeling fear and nervousness about what might happen,” Cassidy Hutchinson told the commission.
The former collaborator of Donald Trump also claimed to have heard the mention, during meetings at the residence of the president, of the presence in the processions of the ultra-violent and conspiratorial groups of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, undermining the version of Donald Trump’s lawyer claiming ignorance of such a gathering.
According to Hutchinson, Trump and his entourage were also made aware of the presence of weapons at the foot of the congressional steps. Among them, gas bombs, knives, and tasers. To which the president retorted: “I don’t give a damn if they have weapons! They are not here to hurt me and let people in, from here they can walk to the Capitol!” Following these conversations, Donald Trump will decide to call for the demonstration. A few minutes before Congress begins recording the victory of his rival Joe Biden, he will deliver a warlike speech: “We will never give up. We will never concede,” he said.
After his speech, Donald Trump wants to join his supporters. His order service refuses: the operation is too dangerous. White House legal counsel Pat Cipollone opposes this and instructs Cassidy Hutchinson to do everything to restrain the uncontrollable head of state: “Make sure we don’t go to the Capitol. (… ) We’re going to be charged with every crime imaginable if we go.” Faced with the categorical refusal of his bodyguards, Donald Trump would have thrown himself in front of the presidential limousine to put his hands on the wheel. Then, he would have got carried away with the head of his close protection team: “I am the fucking president! Take me to the Capitol now!”.
Donald Trump finally locks himself in his office. Shortly after the rioters burst through the walls of the House of Parliamentarians, legal counsel Pat Cipollone rushes into Meadows’ office to set up a meeting with Trump. Meadows replies that he does not wish to be disturbed. Hutchinson continued, “Cippolone made it very clear to Mark: something has to be done or people are going to die and you’ll get blood on your hands!” It is only a few hours later that the President of the United States will call for calm.
Cassidy Hutchinson’s speech will have to be confirmed by members of the Head of State’s security, who should be questioned by the Commission. Donald Trump, for his part, strongly denounced these revelations: “It is twisted and false, as is all of the work of the commission.”
Despite Donald Trump’s denial, this testimony, the first from behind the scenes of the Trump administration, has a major impact in the American media since it cracks the defense of the former reality TV presenter. For nearly a year and the start of the commission of inquiry, Donald Trump’s lawyers have consistently portrayed the day as a peaceful meeting gone wrong, denying the politician any responsibility despite a call before the assault ” to walk on the capitol”.
On the social network of the former president Truth Social, his most fervent admirers hastened to shout at the impartiality and the conspiracy of the commission of inquiry after the speech of Cassidy Hutchinson. While Donald Trump broods the ambition to run again in 2024 and has taken over a large part of the Republican camp now rallied to the cause of the theft of the 2020 election, the reception of these new revelations still symbolizes a little no longer the fracture between two Americas that don’t agree on anything.