According to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s devastating testimony to the Jan. 6 committee this week — where she revealed the inner workings of the Trump White House in the lead up to and during the Capitol attack — has inspired other witnesses to come forward.
Host Dana Bash interviewed Kinzinger on CNN’s State of the Union and asked: “Since Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, have new witnesses come forward to want to speak up?”
“Yes. I don’t want to get into who or any of those details… She’s been inspiring for a lot of people,” Kinzinger said. “This happens every day. Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, ‘Hey, I didn’t think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking — like, I do see [how] this plays in here.'”
"Every day we get new people that come forward" –@RepKinzinger says the January 6 committee expects to hear from new witnesses after Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and to "stay tuned." @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/2XLJ9iVa5I
— CNN (@CNN) July 3, 2022
Earlier in the interview, Kinzinger discussed Hutchinson’s testimony that she heard Trump reached for the steering wheel of the presidential limo — nicknamed “The Beast” — when Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol. The congressman said he found Hutchinson’s testimony credible, despite anonymous sources claiming it was untrue.
“Some Secret Service sources are disputing the account,” Bash said. “Others say, though, it tracks with what they heard. So the question is, Trump allies are trying to use this to discredit all of her testimony. Why did the committee put this out there, ask her about this, that she heard secondhand, without first obtaining corroborating evidence?”
“Well, I’m not going to say what we do or don’t have in terms of corroboration,” Kinzinger replied. “But let me say this. What she said is, this is what she heard. At no point [does she say] she was in the Beast with the president and saw this happen. Now, you guys [at CNN] have done a good job of reporting Secret Service sources saying they heard the same story. What you’re seeing now — and this is typical for Trump world — that nobody has argued that the president didn’t want to go to the Capitol. Nobody has argued that he didn’t know there were guns. They’re trying to argue, did he really grab for the Beast? And that’s where Tony Ornato will have to come in and tell us more about his position on that.”
Ornato, Trump’s former deputy chief of staff for operations who previously led Trump’s Secret Service detail, is the person Hutchinson said told her about the then-president “lunging” at his lead Secret Service agent, Robert Engel. Secret Service officials have said Ornato and Engel will testify the incident did not happen, but CNN has reported that rumors of Trump’s angry demands to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6 have been circulating in the Secret Service for a year.
“He had sort of lunged forward — it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don’t know,” a source told CNN. “Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat — for what reason, nobody had any idea.”
“Cassidy Hutchinson has testified under oath,” Kinzinger said. “We find her credible. And anybody that wants to cast disparagements on that was firsthand present should come and also testify under oath, and not through ‘anonymous sources’ and not potentially being an anonymous source.”
Kinzinger’s fellow committee member, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), speaking with ABC’s Jonathan Karl on This Week, said she is “absolutely confident” in Hutchinson’s testimony. “She’s an incredibly brave young woman,” Cheney said.
When Karl asked if the committee had evidence aside from Hutchinson’s testimony to corroborate what happened in the presidential motorcade, Cheney responded, “The committee has significant evidence about a whole range of issues, including the president’s intense anger.”
The Jan. 6 Committee has "significant evidence about a whole range of issues," including former Pres. Trump's "intense anger" about being blocked by Secret Service from going to the Capitol that day, Vice Chair Liz Cheney tells @JonKarl. https://t.co/rPywuRPwPH pic.twitter.com/JUcEBLX3Qr
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 3, 2022
“I think you will continue to see in the coming days and weeks additional detail about the president’s activities and behavior on that day,” she added.