“It was the second warning Cassidy Hutchinson had received before her deposition, cautioning her against cooperating with the panel
Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
The message in question was the second of the two warnings that the select committee disclosed at the end of its special hearing when Hutchinson testified about how Donald Trump directed a crowd he knew was armed to march on the Capitol, the sources said.
“[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition,” read the message. The redaction was Meadows, the sources said.
The message was presented during closing remarks at the special hearing with Hutchinson by the panel’s vice-chair, Liz Cheney, who characterized the missive as improper pressure on a crucial witness that could extend to illegal witness tampering or intimidation.
The exact identity of the person who sent Hutchinson the message – beyond the fact that they were an associate of Meadows – could not be confirmed on Thursday, but that may be in part because the select committee may wish to interview that person, the sources said.
That appears to indicate that the person who sent the message was a close associate of the former White House chief of staff who may themselves be a fact witness to what Trump and Meadows were doing and thinking ahead of the Capitol attack.
Neither a spokesman for Meadows nor Hutchinson responded to a request for comment on Thursday evening.
The other message was also directed at Hutchinson, the sources said; the quote displayed on the slide was one of several calls from Trump allies that Hutchinson recounted to House investigators.
“What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in the good graces in Trump World,” the slide read.
“And they reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”
The identity of the people who called Hutchinson, warning her presumably not to implicate the former president, could not be established beyond the fact that they were people close to Trump, though the select committee is understood to be aware of all of the people.
Politico, which first reported that the message to Hutchinson came from an associate of Meadows, also reported that it came before her second interview with the select committee. Hutchinson changed lawyers before her fourth deposition that preceded her public testimony.”