Cassidy Hutchinson burst into tears of joy the day she was admitted to the White House Fellows Program. It was the summer of 2018, she was 22 years old and she was passionate about politics, power and public service. She had already been an intern at the Capitol and her goal was to have a career with “civic significance.” She could not imagine then that she would become the star witness of the commission that investigates the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Her testimony exposes her top boss, then President Donald Trump .
The most powerful image that Hutchinson’s account has left is that of ketchup dripping down the wall of the White House dining room as a portrait of Trump’s anger. His most important revelation is that Trump himself was willing to lead the armed mob that marched on Capitol Hill to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory, and even tried to have the security measures relaxed. security.
His statement, along with other testimonies of the January 6 commission, is the one that has the most weight to facilitate an eventual prosecution of the former president. According to his account, even then the White House’s main legal adviser, Pat Cipollone, was aware of the risk: “They are going to accuse us of all imaginable crimes,” Hutchinson says he said that day.
The ketchup and bits of china on the floor illustrate Donald Trump’s anger when his own attorney general, William Barr, reported on December 1, 2020, that there was no evidence of voter fraud in Biden’s victory. Trump threw a plate of food against the wall when the news reached him. They were frantic weeks on the way to that ominous January 6. Cassidy Hutchinson lived them in the first row. Despite her youth and little experience, she occupied an office very close to the Oval Office in the White House.
Hutchison testified for hours in four recorded sessions behind closed doors before members of the commission and this Tuesday he solemnly appeared on Capitol Hill. Dressed in an immaculate white jacket, sheltered by several companions, she used a low tone, tenuous, as if sad, somewhat nervous at first, but without hesitation, answering safely and confidently. She heaved a few sighs. After testifying, she left the room with a somewhat lost look and a sad expression.
A few days ago, Cass, as her friends call her, was a perfect unknown to the general public. She now she has become a celebrity, for better and for worse. For some, a kind of anonymous heroine, the woman who is sincere and faithful to her ideals, an “encouraging and inspiring” figure, as a congressman defined her during the session. For others, a liar in search of prominence from her: Trump’s followers began this same Tuesday live a campaign of harassment against her on social networks and baptized her as Amber Heard 2.0.
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Hutchinson was born in 1996 in Pennington, a small town in the interior of New Jersey where he attended high school. He studied political science at the young and small public university of Christopher Newport, in the town of Newport News, on the coast of the State of Virginia, about three hours by car south of Washington. In her list of illustrious students, which she has already joined, there are some congressmen. Her interest in politics led her to get a scholarship at the Capitol, she interned under Republican Senator Ted Cruz and House Republican Caucus Leader Steve Scalise.
His big break came in 2018 with his scholarship to the White House. “Doing an internship in the Capitol confirmed my desire to follow a path in the Government and when I found out about the scholarship in the White House I was eager to apply”, she recalled in 2018 in an interview conducted by the university magazine.
“As a first-generation college student, being selected to serve as a fellow alongside some of the brightest and most motivated students from across the country, many of whom attend top universities, has been an honor and a tremendous growth experience.” , he said then, in October 2018, after finishing his summer internship, which he described as one of the honors of his life.
Seeing the presidential helicopter depart from the window of his office, attending law-signing ceremonies or appearances by Trump were some of the small achievements that he highlighted and, looking to the future, declared: “I have all the opportunities within my reach and I am open to any job that comes my way.”
Months later she would return to the White House, but no longer as an intern. In March 2019, she arrived at the West Wing as adviser to the president for legislative issues, where she established a good relationship with Mark Meadows, appointed White House chief of staff a year later, a figure that in the United States is similar to that of a prime minister. . Meadows trusted her and Hutchinson soon became her right-hand man in a short and meteoric career. A twentysomething recent graduate dispatched the legislative agenda, she met with senators and representatives with enormous political weight and decades of experience.
He campaigned for Trump’s re-election. Like other witnesses who have passed through the commission, she was an enthusiastic supporter of the then president. In addition to her photo as a White House intern, she was also photographed dancing with then White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany with Air Force One behind her in September 2020 in Swanton, Ohio, where Trump had attended an event. campaign.
He gave himself to the cause. For her it was like a dream, a dream that was shattered by the porcelain plate thrown by Trump against the wall.
Trump and his supporters dispute the testimony
Trump himself and many of his supporters have questioned one of the episodes that Cassidy Hutchison recounted in his appearance this Tuesday before the commission on January 6. Hutchinson was not an eyewitness to some of those episodes, but rather heard about them from other members of the Trump team. In his appearance, he recounted that he had been told that Trump pounced on his driver when the secret service refused to take him to the Capitol, where insurgents were besieging the building, and led him to the White House. He grabbed the driver by the throat and told him, “I’m the fucking president,” according to what Hutchinson said he was told.
Trump supporters questioned yesterday that this is possible, given the armor and screens of the presidential car, known as the Beast. But that day Trump was not moving in that car, but in another SUV. Even the Beast has a window connecting the front and rear seats. If anything, it served Trump and his supporters to cast doubt on Hutchison’s credibility. “Your false story of him…is sick” and fraudulent. It wouldn’t even have been possible to do something so ridiculous,” Trump wrote Tuesday on Truth Social, the Twitter-like social network on which he now expresses himself.
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