When the January 6th Committee announced an additional public hearing, with barely 24 hours notice, the obvious question was, why? The initial release shared that there was new testimony and evidence to be shared, but why the urgency?
Well, the surprise witness has been revealed — along with the reason for the urgency. According to Salon, the Committee decided that this hearing could not wait until the House returns from recess next month, as originally planned, due to concerns for the safety of the witness, Cassidy Hutchinson.
You may remember Hutchinson, portions of whose closed-door testimony has been shared in the public hearings. She was a top aide to Mark Meadows, and was present in meetings and otherwise in the immediate vicinity for much of everything, licit and otherwise, that went on in the last weeks of the Trump Administration.
Her previous testimony has included such information as a list of Republicans asking for pardons after the attacks on January 6th, and sharing that she witnessed Meadows burning documents.
The House members who asked for a pardon, according to former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson's 1/6 testimony:
• Gaetz (R-FL)
• Brooks (R-AL)
• Biggs (R-AZ)
• Gohmert (R-TX)
• Perry (R-PA)
• Greene (R-GA) pic.twitter.com/gkQrC8zwBb
— The Recount (@therecount) June 23, 2022
Politico reported earlier this month that Hutchinson had fired the attorney who had advised her throughout this testimony — Stefan Passantino, who served as deputy White House counsel and had ties to close allies of Donald Trump. She hired a new attorney, Jody Hunt, who was Chief of Staff to Jeff Sessions when he angered Trump by refusing himself from the Russia investigation.
Hutchinson has reportedly given additional testimony since the change in representation, and has been willing or able to do so more freely, and the Committee is expressing concerns that some of what she has shared could endanger her, hence the necessity to move the hearing up.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com