Trump paid legal fees for Cassidy Hutchinson before she secured new lawyer for public testimony

Ms Hutchinson’s previous attorney was paid for by a pro-Trump organisation

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Friday 01 July 2022 16:26 BST
Trump says Cassidy Hutchinson 'living in fantasy land' after Jan 6th testimony

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony before the House January 6 select committee came after she ditched a lawyer with deep connections to former president Donald Trump, who was being paid by his political operation.

On Tuesday, Ms Hutchinson provided the select committee, and the millions watching the televised proceedings, with the most detailed account to date of how Mr Trump and his top aides conducted themselves before and during the worst attack on the US Capitol since 1814.

The stunning revelations from Ms Hutchinson included: Mr Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his presidential limousine in an effort to go to the Capitol to join his supporters; Mr Trump’s chief of staff warned that things could get “real, real bad” on January 6; Mr Trump threw his lunch against the wall when his then-attorney general, Bill Barr, knocked down claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election; and members of Mr Trump’s inner circle sought pardons after the violence.

According to The New York Times, the ground-breaking testimony only became possible after Ms Hutchinson fired her previous attorney, Stephen Passantino.

Mr Passantino, who served in the White House counsel’s office during Mr Trump’s presidency, represented Ms Hutchinson through her first three sessions with the panel, with his legal fees being paid by one of a number of pro-Trump organisations that have sprung up as part of a support network for the former president and his allies.

But for Ms Hutchinson’s fourth appearance before the select committee, she instead hired Jody Hunt, an Alston and Bird partner who had served in the Trump Justice Department under former attorney general Jeff Sessions.

On Thursday, ex-White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin told CNN’s New Day that she’d been at least partly responsible for the change.

“A couple months ago, I put her in touch with Congresswoman Cheney,” she said. “She got a new lawyer and that’s how this testimony came about.”

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