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Republicans probing Jan. 6 investigation ask star witness Cassidy Hutchinson for more documents

Republicans probing Jan. 6 investigation ask star witness Cassidy Hutchinson for more documents
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WASHINGTON — A GOP-controlled House committee investigating the special committee that probed the Jan. 6 attack and Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election sent a letter Wednesday asking that panel’s star witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, to hand over numerous communications with key Jan. 6 figures, as well as those related to her book deal.

In the letter, first obtained by NBC News, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., chair of the House Administration subcommittee on oversight, asked Hutchinson to turn over all communications through this month with former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the Jan. 6 panel’s vice chair, and a number of top former Trump White House officials. They include chief of staff Mark Meadows, communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin, deputy chief of staff Anthony Ornato, senior adviser Eric Herschmann and White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

In addition, Loudermilk asked Hutchinson for communications related to “potential publishing or book deals or related compensation,” as well as about her employment after the White House; the 25th Amendment, which covers removing a president from power; and her itinerary for a trip to the Florida’s Gulf Coast in early 2021.

Last fall, Hutchinson wrote a bestselling book about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, “Enough.”

Loudermilk wrote that the request for documents and other communications is necessary because the select Jan. 6 panel — which was created by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — “failed to properly archive their records, including as many as 900 interview summaries or transcripts, over one terabyte of digital data, and over 100 deleted or encrypted documents.”

“The Subcommittee has no choice but to repeat much of the work of the Select Committee to understand their investigative findings,” Loudermilk said.

Trump is charged with multiple felony counts for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election in the run-up to and on Jan. 6, when the Capitol — and lawmakers certifying Joe Biden’s victory — came under assault from thousands of his supporters.

Led by Loudermilk, House Republicans have been eager to downplay the events of Jan. 6 and relitigate the investigation and findings of the special committee as Trump seeks to win back the White House in November. Part of that effort has focused on discrediting Hutchison, who was a top aide to Meadows in the final days of the Trump administration.

In the letter, Loudermilk said that upon reviewing documents Hutchinson had provided to his subcommittee earlier, his panel found that some of the documents “were not archived by the Select Committee.” They included communications between Hutchinson and former White House staffers Ben Williamson and Stefan Passantino; top Trump political adviser Susan Wiles; journalist Jake Sherman; Kash Patel, the former chief of staff at the Defense Department; and former National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe.  

Hutchinson’s attorney, William H. Jordan, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In response to other document requests, Jordan had referred to a statement this year in which he characterized Loudermilk’s request as a “pressure campaign” to “silence” a potential witness in Trump’s criminal trials, in which he is charged with numerous felony counts for interfering in the 2020 election and trying to remain in power after his election defeat.   

“Let me be clear: since Ms. Hutchinson changed counsel, she has and will continue to tell the truth,” Jordan wrote to Loudermilk in January. “While other individuals — often men who occupied more senior roles — would not speak with the Select Committee, Ms. Hutchinson and many other witnesses courageously stepped forward. Yet she now finds herself being questioned by you and your Subcommittee regarding her testimony and on matters that may also be the subject of ongoing criminal proceedings against Mr. Trump.”

“Ms. Hutchinson will not succumb to a pressure campaign from those who seek to silence her and influence her testimony, even when done in the name of ‘oversight,’” Jordan continued.

During the Jan. 6 hearings in 2022, ​​Hutchinson was the surprise, star witness for the committee, testifying under oath that she had heard that Trump had lunged at the steering wheel of the presidential SUV and gotten into a physical altercation with his lead Secret Service agent after he was told he couldn’t go to the Capitol to join his supporters after he spoke at a rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021.

But in March, Loudermilk’s panel released an 81-page report that Republicans said demonstrated that four other White House employees didn’t corroborate Hutchinson’s dramatic account of Trump’s actions that day.



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