GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the committee’s vice chairwoman, told the committee at Tuesday’s hearing that she had heard from two witnesses — whom she did not name — from people connected to former President Donald Trump’s world. To intimidate them. Sources tell CNN Hutchinson is one of those witnesses.
“We typically ask witnesses associated with Mr. Trump’s administration or campaign whether they were contacted by any of their former colleagues or anyone else who tried to influence or influence their testimony,” Cheney said during the hearing. The witnesses answered that question.
In both examples, the group showed testimony where the former president said he was focused on being invited by the group and hoped they would stick with Trump.
Hutchinson’s safety was a major concern of the team leading up to their investigation. That’s part of why they kept her identity a secret before the meeting.
Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified for nearly two hours Tuesday and recorded in closed-door testimony that Meadows and Trump had been repeatedly warned about security concerns earlier in January and that day. 6, 2021, rally and riot. Hutchinson also testified about how Trump made several attempts to visit the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Members of the committee suggested that the two examples they presented were only part of the evidence related to witness intimidation.
Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, a member of the committee, told CNN the behavior was part of the former president’s behavior.
“Certainly we’ve seen a history of former presidents trying to influence or intimidate witnesses,” Schiff said.
A spokesman for the select committee declined to comment on the committee’s claims of witness intimidation.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Cheney said the panel had “evidence of specific practice that raises significant concerns.”
One witness, Cheney said, described phone calls from people interested in that witness’s testimony. The unnamed witness told the panel: “What they told me is that as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I’m on the right team. I’m doing the right thing. I’m protecting. Who I’m supposed to protect, you know, I’ll continue to be in good graces in a Trump world. And They’ve reminded me twice that Trump will read the transcripts.”
The second example Cheney gave was when a witness was called, “I have a man who informed me that he has your confession tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he is thinking about you. He knows you are faithful. And you are going to do the right thing when you go to your confession.”
“It’s very serious,” Cheney said. “It really goes to the heart of our legal system. And it’s something the committee will certainly review.”
He added, “It gives us real insight into how the people around the former president are operating, the extent to which they believe they can influence the testimony of witnesses before the committee, and we take that very seriously. People need to be aware – this is a very serious issue, and the judiciary is very I imagine will be interested and will take it very seriously.”
This story was updated Thursday with additional updates.
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