‘Mike Deserves It’A Shocking Emergency January 6 Hearing
A former White House aide gave devastating eyewitness testimony in Congress about Donald Trump’s eagerness to join the insurrectionists who threatened to kill his Vice President
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Former President Donald Trump appeared to condone the threats to the life of his Vice President Mike Pence and encourage violence at the Capitol, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told an emergency hearing of 6 January Select Committee.
In explosive testimony, Cassidy Hutchinson repeated a conversation between White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and her boss Mark Meadows about the mob’s threats to Pence.
“I remember Pat saying something to the effect of ‘Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the Vice President to be f**king hung,’” Hutchinson said.
She heard Meadows reply to Cipollone: “You heard [Trump], Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong,” Hutchinson told the Committee.
According to Hutchinson, Cipollone told Meadows that something had to be done, “or people are going to die and the blood’s gonna be on your f**king hands”.
Hutchinson’s testimony over the threats made against Vice President Mike Pence appear to confirm allegations that a high level coup was being plotted. She painted a portrait of a petulant and impetuous outgoing president keen to encourage the insurrection: Trump throwing ketchup at the White House wall and breaking dishes and threatening bodily harm to the head of his Secret Service detail when he didn’t get his way to be driven to join the mob.
Liz Cheney, the Republican representative for Wyoming, who is vice chair of the committee, said that on the day security services had already confiscated “pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, tasers, body armor, gas masks, batons, blunt weapons, and those were just for the people who chose to go through the security for the President’s event on the Ellipse”.
Hutchinson was categoric that Trump had been informed that people in the crowd on 6 January were armed.
“I overheard the President say something to the effect of, ‘I don’t effin’ care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the effin’ mags away,’” she said.
Mags refers to the “magnetometers”, or metal detectors, used to screen attendees. Police radio transmissions played at the hearing revealed some protestors had firearms, including AR-15s, rifles, and Glock-style pistols.
Journalist and author of How to Stop Fascism Paul Mason told Byline Times: “What’s emerged is the picture of a clear chain of command from Trump via Meadows to the Willard team and the insurgents; absolutely deranged behaviour by the President with the Secret Service; and a huge question over Trump’s refusal to allow White House intervention to stop the insurrection.”
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A Lethal Blow to Trump?
Responding to Hutchinson’s testimony, retired Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator Martin Sheil said it dealt a potential lethal blow to Trump’s freedom.
Sheil told Byline Times: “The fact that Trump knew many of the crowd attending his speech were armed is just stunning and puts him in a tough spot with regard to potential Seditious Conspiracy charges in that he had knowledge that many 6 January attendees were armed and he directed them to march down to the Capitol”.
In methodical detail, Hutchinson described the events leading up to the events at the Capitol, including that the President and his enablers failed to take action to prevent violence. Among the names that came up in her testimony were Trump allies former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former General Mike Flynn, and the right wing activist Roger Stone.
Hutchinson told the Committee that Trump had Meadows call General Flynn and political operative Roger Stone the night before the attempted insurrection.
“Rudy Giuliani’s big mouth continues to work against his interests,” said Sheil. “He warned Cassidy with regard to 6 January. His stated foreknowledge represents evidence of his state of mind — in other words mens rea”.
Disinformation researcher Jim Stewartson told Byline Times: “The way the Committee is handling this complex story continues to be masterful, which is why the inclusion of Mike Flynn and Roger Stone in the hearing today was so significant. They showed Flynn’s invoking the Fifth Amendment when asked about the peaceful transition of power, and they mentioned Roger Stone and his appearance at the Willard Hotel in conjunction with the Proud Boys and Oathkeepers”.
Stewartson believes that Meadows may have been “the connection point between Flynn’s operations and the White House” and that “the second half of the hearings will focus on the planning for violence and participation of militias at the alleged direction of Flynn, Stone and others”.
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) investigative researcher Brent Allpress, who has shared his findings with the Committee, told Byline Times: “General Mike Flynn taking the Fifth on the peaceful transfer of power was the most disturbing testimony. It indicates an ongoing National Security threat’.
Allpress uncovered that Flynn took an undisclosed Council for National Policy (CNP) Head Office role on November 26, 2020, the day after he was pardoned by Trump. The CNP is a shadowy conservative organisation with multiple links to the Trump adminstration, fossil fuel interests, and anti-rights movements. Flynn then publicly led StoptheSteal events in the run up to 6 January, supported by another CNP member, Ali Alexander.
Allpress is pushing to have the CNP forensically investigated for its role in the attempted coup and what he describes as “an ongoing Judicial coup led by Justice Clarence Thomas” who is married to a CNP action director, Ginni Thomas. The latter was involved in attempts to decertify the election outcome.
‘Unpatriotic and Un-American’
Sheil noted how Hutchinson repeatedly testified how she would encounter Meadows in the White House scrolling his phone.
“Given the deleterious consequences faced by two Trump-affiliated lawyers, Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman, with regard to the seizures of their respective phones by the authorities, Meadows needs to beware,” said Sheil.
Both Clark and Eastman – who were integral to Trump’s fraudulent schemes to stay in power according to previous witnesses to the hearings – had their electronic devices seized by federal agents in recent days.
Hutchinson told the Committee she is still haunted by the violence of January 6.
“It was unpatriotic, it was un-American, we were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie,” Hutchinson said. “I still struggle to work through the emotions of that”.
Paul Mason told Byline Times the revelations “must force Biden and his team to go hard against the GOP – if it’s now an insurrectionist party, fronted by six judges systematically reversing Americans’ human rights, it must be fought like Sherman fought the Confederacy – nothing less would satisfy the meaning of the Constitution. Doesn’t matter how many guns are legally held: insurrection is a crime”.
Historian and author of Strongman, Ruth Ben-Ghiat said: “Sending armed goons in to assassinate and harm top officials is what coups are all about”.
Hutchinson also said there were talks among White House staff to invoke the 25th Amendment due to Trump’s dangerous behavior.
Aware of their legal exposure, both Giuliani and Meadows sought pardons, but according to Hutchinson, they were denied.
“The hearing today went beyond historic,” said Stewartson. “In many ways it broke history altogether. If the President of the United States can attack a Secret Service agent because he wanted to lead an armed insurrection of the Capitol in order to ‘hang Mike Pence’ because Pence ‘deserved it,’ history may no longer be able to guide us”.