Cassidy Hutchinson was an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. She entered the spotlight in a surprise January 6 hearing today, June 28, 2022.
Hutchinson testified to U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack about conversations related to January 6 she said she overheard, recounting a tirade by then-President Donald Trump, who said he did not care that protesters had weapons because they weren’t there to hurt him, according to her testimony. Her testimony was replayed during primetime coverage of the hearings on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
The committee said the hearing June 28 was scheduled “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.” The committee had initially planned to take a brief hiatus until the week of July 11.
The June 28 hearing was the sixth the committee held to present evidence surrounding the U.S. Capitol insurrection. The most recent hearing was held June 23, when the committee presented evidence that Trump placed pressure on the U.S. Department of Justice to help him overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hutchinson Was an Intern at the Trump White House & She Recently Switched Attorneys
Hutchinson was an intern at the White House under then-President Donald Trump and was a college senior in 2018 when she was interviewed by her student newspaper in an article titled “A Captain in the ‘People’s House.’
“The White House Internship Program is a hands-on opportunity designed to mentor and cultivate young leaders and prepare them for future public service,” the article said. “It is a highly coveted summer gig, with a rigorous screening process.”
“I was brought to tears when I received the email that I had been selected to participate,” she told the newspaper. “As a first-generation college student, being selected to serve as an intern alongside some of the most intelligent and driven students from across the nation — many of whom attend top universities — was an honor and a tremendous growing experience.”
Hutchinson’s LinkedIn page says she studied political science and American studies at Christopher Newport University, a public university in Newport News, Virginia. Her page says she is based in the Washington and Baltimore area.
The Associated Press reported that Hutchinson recently changed attorneys, which could be indicative of her allegiance.
The AP wrote:
One sign of Hutchinson’s possible willingness to cooperate with investigations is her choice of lawyers. She recently switched from a former Trump White House official to a veteran former Justice Department official who served as chief of staff to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and who emerged as a key witness for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
Jody Hunt, the new lawyer, recounted for Mueller’s team the extent to which Trump berated Sessions over his recusal from the Russia investigation and the pressure he sought to exert on the department over the probe.
2. Hutchinson Was the First Person in Her Family to Attend College & She Is 25 Years Old From Williamsburg, Virginia
Hutchinson told her student newspaper in 2018 that she was the first person in her family to attend college. She described herself as “a first-generation college student” in her interview.
The Associated Press described the role of young people in the White House in its article on Hutchinson’s testimony, and about the access to information aides can obtain.
“There’s relatively little known about Hutchinson. Although the White House is perhaps the world’s most prestigious office building, much of the staff is young, sometimes even fresh out of college like Hutchinson. They often previously worked on the president’s campaign or the national party, and they’re distinguished by their ambition and willingness to work long hours for little pay,” the AP reported. “They’re also critical to any administration’s machinery. They help with the logistics of media coverage, prepare for public events and answer the phones. Because they’re often within earshot as the country’s most powerful people gossip and plan, discretion is expected.”
Johanna Maska, the CEO of consulting firm Global Situation Room who served in the White House under former President Barack Obama, further elaborated on the role of young people in the White House.
“The White House is fueled by young restless energy that works all days, hours, nights to keep the operation running,” Maska told the AP. “Though most assistants wouldn’t be in a decision-making role, they have eyes on sensitive information including schedules, notes, documents, private conversations.”
Hutchinson is 25 years old, according to the AP.
She was named on the Academic Deans List in college in 2017. Her hometown is Williamsburg, Virginia, the dean’s list says.
“Christopher Newport University is pleased to announce the Dean’s List for the spring 2017 semester. These students were enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, earned no final grade below C and earned a grade point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale,” the May 2017 dean’s list announcement says. “Congratulations to all!”
3. Hutchinson Was Also an Intern for Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Senator Ted Cruz
Hutchinson was recognized in her student newspaper for her political internships. Prior to serving as an aide to Meadows, she also served as an intern for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Senator Ted Cruz, according to a 2018 article in the Christopher Newport University newspaper.
“For as long as she can remember, senior Cassidy Hutchinson has admired the men and women who enter public service,” the article opened.
She told the newspaper her goals were to pursue “civic significance” in her career.
“I have set a personal goal to pursue a path of civic significance,” she told the newspaper. “Interning on Capitol Hill confirmed my desire to continue a path in government, and when I learned about the White House internship I was eager to apply.”
4. Hutchinson Testified That Trump Did Not Care That Protesters Had Weapons
Hutchinson said in her testimony that she overheard Trump reacting to news that protesters had weapons, and he said he did not care.
“I overheard the president say something to the effect of ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take the f-ing mags away.”
Hutchinson testified that Trump was enraged that he was being driven back to the White House after his “Stop the Steal” rally, where he told protesters to “fight like hell.” She said he lunged for the steering wheel to grab it from a Secret Service agent.
“I’m the effing president,” Hutchinson heard Trump say, according to her testimony.
Hutchinson further said that when Meadows learned about violence at the Capitol, he “almost had a lack of reaction.”
5. Hutchinson Recounted Her Inside Look at the White House as an Intern Under Trump & Said Her Goal Was to Be a Leader ‘in the Fight to Secure the American Dream’
Hutchinson told her student newspaper in 2018 about the behind-the-scenes look she was granted through her internship during her junior year of college.
“I attended numerous events hosted by the president, such as signing ceremonies, celebrations and presidential announcements, and frequently watched Marine One depart the South Lawn from my office window,” she said at the time. “My small contribution to the quest to maintain American prosperity and excellence is a memory I will hold as one of the honors of my life.”
She said at the time that she planned to return to Capitol Hill to continue her career in politics.
“I’m keeping every opportunity at my fingertips and am open to any job that comes my way,” she told the newspaper. “I am confident I will be an effective leader in the fight to secure the American dream for future generations, so they too will have the bountiful opportunities and freedoms that make the United States great.”
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