More witnesses are offering new details about the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 after the devastating testimony that former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson gave last week against former President Donald Trump, according to a member of a House committee investigating the rebellion.
The committee has already summoned former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who investigators still hope will appear Wednesday for testimony, and said it would also welcome follow-up details from Secret Service members with Trump that day.
Representative Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, cited Hutchinson’s testimony that Trump wanted to join an angry mob that marched to the Capitol on January 6 as they rioted, particularly valuable in “inspiring” more people to move forward as the commission’s work began. for at least two public hearings this month.
“Every day we get new people coming up and saying, ‘Hey, I didn’t think maybe that part of the story I know was important,'” he said on Sunday. There will be more information and you will be kept informed. “
Over the course of a year, the commission intensified its investigations into the January 6, 2021 attack and Trump’s efforts to cancel the 2020 election. The upcoming hearings will aim to show how Trump illegally directed a violent mob toward the Capitol on January 6, and then failed to take swift action to stop the attack once it began. Over the weekend, Representative Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, clarified that criminal referrals to the Justice Department, including against Trump, could follow.
The committee is also reviewing new documentary footage of Trump’s final months in office, including interviews with Trump and members of his family.
In a television interview, Kinzinger refused to reveal the new information he referred to, and did not say who provided it. He said that nothing had changed the Committee’s confidence in its credibility.
“There is information that I cannot tell yet,” he said. “We can certainly say that Cassidy Hutchinson testified under oath, and we find it credible, and anyone who wants to make light of it, who was directly present, must also testify under oath and not through anonymous sources.”
In a separate interview, another committee member, Representative Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said: “We’re following additional leads. I think those leads will lead to new testimony.”
At Hutchinson’s appearance before the committee, she painted a picture of Trump as an angry, defiant president who was trying to allow his armed supporters to avoid security checks at a rally on the morning of January 6 to protest his defeat in the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.
According to Hutchinson, Cipollone was concerned that Trump would face criminal charges if he joined his supporters in a march to the Capitol.
Legal experts said Cassidy’s testimony is likely to be problematic for Trump as federal prosecutors investigate possible criminal wrongdoing.
Cheney said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the commission is still considering whether to make recommendations to the Justice Department, noting that “there could be more than one criminal referral.”
Committee members said they hope Cipollone will advance.
“He clearly had information about concerns about criminal abuse, concerns about the president going to the Capitol that day, and concerns about the Chief of Staff getting blood on his hands if they didn’t do more to stop this violent attack on the Capitol,” Schiff said. “It’s hard to imagine someone at the center of things.”
In her testimony, Cassidy recounted a conversation with Tony Ornato, Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, who in her testimony said Trump later grabbed the steering wheel of a presidential SUV when the Secret Service refused to let him go to the Capitol afterward. the gathering.
This account has been disputed, however. A person familiar with the matter said Bobby Engel, the Secret Service agent who was leading Trump, and Ornato were willing to testify under oath that no agent was assaulted and that Trump was not rushed to the wheel. The person did not discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“We’ve interviewed Mr. Ornato several times,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat and committee member. “His memory doesn’t seem to be as accurate as hers. We certainly welcome them to come back if they wish.”
The committee is also working on an interview with Virginia “Jenny” Thomas, conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She was asked to speak to the committee after her contacts with the Trump team were revealed in the lead-up to the uprising and the day of the Capitol rebellion.
Kinzinger has appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Schiff has appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Cheney has appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” and Lofgren has spoken on Meet the Press on NBC.
For full coverage of the January 6 sessions, go to https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege