Trump Knew of Weapons in January 6 Crowds, Urged March on Capitol Anyway, Former Aide Says
18:53 GMT 28.06.2022 (Updated: 18:55 GMT 28.06.2022)
© AP Photo / Jose Luis MaganaIn this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S.
© AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Former President Donald Trump knew about the presence of armed individuals in crowds gathered in Washington on January 6, 2021, but urged them to march on the US Capitol anyway, Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said during congressional testimony on Tuesday.
Hutchinson testified before the US House Select Committee probing the events at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Hutchinson said she and other White House officials were briefed on threats with weapons, including firearms and spear-like flagpoles, identified by security in crowds around Trump’s rally on the National Mall near the US Capitol.
Trump, wanting to let more attendees into the rally at the Ellipse, urged officials to halt the use of magnetometer security screeners and allow more individuals, including those with weapons, into the event, Hutchinson said.
Trump during his speech called on supporters to march on the Capitol in support of him, despite being aware of the presence of armed individuals in the crowds, according to Hutchinson. Trump reiterated that the armed individuals were not there to hurt him, Hutchinson said.
White House legal counsel and others expressed concerns about rhetoric in the speech about marching to the Capitol during a meeting on the morning of January 6, Hutchinson also said.
Trump himself was intent on joining the crowd at the Ellipse in their march on the Capitol, Hutchinson said. However, security officials expressed concerns about the movement and decided instead to return Trump to the White House.
Trump responded angrily and attempted to grab the wheel of the car himself, Hutchinson said, citing a conversation with former Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Anthony Ornato.
19 June 2022, 21:06 GMT
The Select Committee heard the testimony as part of its sixth public hearing in a series meant to showcase an alleged plot by Trump to overturn the 2020 election results using testimony and interviews with officials linked to the events.
Trump and numerous other critics have argued that the work of the US House Select Committee is a show trial intended to score political points before the upcoming November elections. Critics have also said the probe is biased because US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to admit Republican lawmakers on the panel who may question and challenge its work as well as because the FBI had already conducted an investigation of the January 6 events and concluded there was no insurrection.