Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani requested pardons after January 6, witness tells hearing

‘I remember thinking in that moment that Mark needs to snap out of this ... He needs to care’

Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows ‘wanted presidential pardons’ after Jan 6, panel told

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Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani requested pardons after January 6, witness Cassidy Hutchinson told a hearing hosted by the investigative panel.

Ms Hutchinson provided the panel with its most explosive testimony yet, saying that Mr Trump attacked a Secret Service agent after trying to grab the wheel of the presidential limo when he was told he wasn’t going to the Capitol on January 6.

Ms Hutchinson said Mr Meadows was sitting on a couch on his cellphone, scrolling and typing at around 2pm when rioters were moving toward the Capitol.

The witness said she was getting frustrated because she felt like she was watching a “bad car accident”.

“I remember thinking in that moment that Mark needs to snap out of this ... He needs to care,” she told the committee.

According to Ms Hutchinson, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told Mr Meadows, who was on his phone at the time: “The rioters got to the Capitol, Mark ... we need to see the president now.”

“He doesn’t want to do anything, Pat,” Mr Meadows said, according to the witness.

“Something needs to be done. People are going to die and the blood is going to be on your hands,” Mr Cipollone said.

Referring to the Trump supporters’ chants of “hang Mike Pence”, Ms Hutchinson said Mr Meadows said: “You heard it Pat, [Trump] thinks Mike deserves it”.

The White House counsel advised Donald Trump against going to the Capitol on January 6, according to Ms Hutchinson.

“Please make sure we don’t go up to the Capitol. We’re going to be charged with every crime imaginable if that happens,” Pat Cipollone said on the morning of January 6, according to Ms Hutchinson.

“On January 3, Mr Cipollone had approached me knowing that Mark [Meadows] had raised the prospect of going up to the Capitol on January 6,” she told the committee.

“Mr Cipollone and I had a brief conversation. He said to me: ‘We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen. This would be legally a terrible idea for us. We have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day’,” Ms Hutchinson said on Tuesday.

“And he then urged me to continue relaying that to Mr Meadows, because it’s my understanding that Mr Cipollone thought that Mr Meadows was indeed pushing this along with the President,” she added.

Ms Hutchinson said Mr Cipollone was concerned about obstructing justice, defrauding the electoral count, and inciting a riot.

In meetings with law enforcement to prepare for January 6, Mr Giuliani was warned of the potential threat of right-wing militia groups crashing the planned rally in Washington, according to the former White House aide.

“I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally, when Mr Giuliani would be around,” Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked for White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the January 6 committee on Tuesday in pre-taped remarks.

Militia groups and white supremacists would later be among those who ransacked the Capitol building on January 6.

Multiple Oath Keeper members have been charged with or pleaded guilty to January 6-related crimes.

The mention of these right-wing groups was not the only foreboding moment ahead of the riots, Ms Hutchinson testified.

According to the former White House aide, Mr Meadows came away concerned from an early January 2021 meeting with Mr Giuliani about what might happen on January 6.

“There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on January 6,” she testified.

Following the 2 January conversation between Mr Meadows and Mr Giuliani, the Trump lawyer allegedly told the White House aide that Mr Trump was “going to the Capitol” on January 6, and that it would be a “powerful” gesture as the presidential election results were formally counted.

“That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on January 6,” she said. “And I had a deeper concern for what was happening with the planning aspects of it.”

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