The Second Biggest Story

Did the title surprise you? It was intended to. Most often the biggest political story of the week just ended is Sunday’s subject. This week you will have to wait another day. That’s doesn’t mean today’s article will be a dud!

Mid-day Monday the word came out that the 1/6 Committee was going to hold a previously unscheduled session Tuesday at 1pm. No details of substance were given. Speculation ran wild and all I knew for certain was that it better be something big or all the credibility the Committee had accumulated would be squandered. They didn’t disappoint!

Cassidy Hutchinson, a young woman in her mid-twenties, went from obscure to a household name overnight. Hutchinson was then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ Executive Assistant. She is a solid Republican and of the most extreme right wing pedigree having previously interned for Texas Senator Ted Cruz and served on the staff of Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise.

Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney did most of the questioning and turned in another all star performance. Minutes into her questioning it was apparent that the hearing was about as far from a dud as the Earth is from the Sun.

Coupled with other testimony it was firmly established that Trump knew that many in the 1/6 crowd were armed and still incited the crowd to march on the Capital. Hutchinson also confirmed the suspicion many of us had (with good cause) that the events of the day were an organized effort and that Trump’s inner circle (and presumably he himself) were actively engaged in the efforts. Specifically, she linked Rudy Giuliani, and her then boss Meadows. Others with at least advance knowledge of the coup plot included then Acting DNI John Ratcliffe, (Trump couldn’t get him confirmed), John Eastman, Roger Stone and then Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato.

To me one of the biggest (publically at this point) unanswered questions is who Meadows was on the phone with in a car as Trump spoke on January 6th. Atypical for him he twice shut the door of the car on Hutchinson so as to maintain confidentiality. Keep in mind Meadows has a well earned reputation for being lazy so to shut his Executive Assistant out is suspicious at best. We know for a fact that he was in communication with Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan that day. Was Jordan his spy in the House chamber? I bet the Committee already knows. They are far from “laying all their cards on the table at once”!

After the break the testimony centered much more on Trump’s actions back at the White House during the domestic terrorist attack on the Capital. It appears Ivanka Trump led the effort to get Trump to call off the useful idiots, of course that was counter to her father’s plan. The insurrection was the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass in football. Trump was concerned with staying in power and the means of achieving that end did not matter to him in the least!

Cheney lends a lot of skills and credibility to the Committee. One area where she has unique expertise is that she is the daughter (and probably favorite child) of a former Vice President. Many things that other have to research are a lived experience to her. The Committee suffers no shortage of lawyers but most people forget that Cheney has a law degree from the University of Chicago. This is not a legal proceeding but among other things the Committee is trying to prove the guilt of several to the American electorate and leave the Justice Department no choice other than to pursue criminal charges.

Pardons were another topic discussed and it was established that both Giuliani and Meadows sought them. Generally speaking, if you don’t think you have criminal liability you don’t seek a pardon.

Trump attacked Hutchinson on his failing social media site with his now worn out, “I hardly knew her” excuse. Some of his minions have attacked her statement with carefully worded semi denials. Interestingly none have come out under oath; often making statements via a spokesperson. Do I need to remind you that Hutchinson was under oath while most of her detractors refused to testify or repeatedly pled the fifth in depositions?

Cheney’s closing remarks addressed the subject of witness tampering. In hindsight it appears a primary reason for the rush (and extra security) to get Hutchinson on the stand was witness tampering which at this point is being attributed to an agent acting on the behalf of Meadows. Was Meadows acting on the behalf of anyone? You connect those dots.

Ironically Hutchinson may have helped Trump in what could be a future legal problem. I have long contended that if Trump finally faces criminal charges his best defense will be to plead insanity. Hutchinson’s description of Trump disregarding security, throwing plates (the ketchup is on the wall), attempting to grab the steering wheel of a moving vehicle and physically attacking his security chief are not the acts of a sane man.

I promise you that evidence that the then sitting President of the United States was part of a plot to overthrow the American government and was angry that he could not be an active participant in a terrorist attack against the Capital Building, Congress and the then sitting Vice President wasn’t the biggest political story of the terrible week just passed. Tomorrow’s article will be proof.

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