Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, put her full support behind the testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson a day after her stunning testimony in front of the panel.
While some supporters of former President Donald Trump are trying to discredit Hutchinson, Cheney on Wednesday called her testimony an "unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and of patriotism in the face of real pressure."
Separately, the Wyoming Republican described Trump as a "domestic threat" and warned Republicans they stand at "the edge of an abyss" and "we must pull back."
"We have to choose, because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution," Cheney said during an address at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
Her speech came just hours after the Jan. 6 committee wasted no time after Tuesday's stunning hearing in getting out another subpoena.
The panel subpoenaed Pat Cipollone, White House attorney under former President Donald Trump, on Wednesday. It marks the committee's 101st subpoena.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide to Trump and chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in testimony Tuesday that Cipollone warned the president could be charged with “every crime imaginable,” such as obstructing Congress or election fraud if he joined the mob.
But the subpoena sets up another potential clash between Congress and the White House that could ultimately reach the Supreme Court. Several of Trump’s aides have defied subpoenas under claims of executive privilege by arguing their communications must remain confidential.
Meadows and former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro defied their subpoenas. The House cited both for contempt and the Justice Department is prosecuting Navarro but not Meadows. Congress negotiated an agreement with Trump’s previous counsel, Don McGahn, for testimony during the Russia investigation rather than test at the Supreme Court whether he could be compelled to testify.
Jan. 6 committee could make criminal referral to DOJ for witness tampering, Cheney says
Rep. Liz Cheney said during an interview on Good Morning America that the House Jan. 6 committee may make criminal referrals to the Justice Department for those it believes are trying to influence witness testimony.
As Tuesday’s hearing concluded, Cheney said the committee had evidence former President Donald Trump’s circle had tried to influence witness testimony. Asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl to identify who was responsible, Cheney declined to comment.
“It gives us a real insight into how people around the former president are operating and the extent to which they believe they can affect the testimony of witnesses before the committee, and it’s something we take very seriously,” she said. “It’s something people should be aware of. It’s a very serious issue and I would imagine the Department of Justice would be very interested in and take that very seriously as well.”
Nearly half of Americans want Trump charged for role in Jan. 6: poll
Almost half of Americans think former President Donald Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the Jan. 6 attacks, according to a new poll.
Overall, 48% of Americans think Trump should be charged with a crime, while 31% say no, according to an AP-NORC poll conducted after the first five hearings of the House Jan. 6 committee. Another 20% say they don't know enough.
Responses were highly partisan, with 86% of Democrats supporting criminal charges compared with 10% of Republicans.
During Tuesday's hearing, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said Trump knew the mob was armed at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021, and he directed that armed mob to the U.S. Capitol.
Hutchinson said she was in the room with Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, during the moments leading up to the insurrection.
Earlier this month, an ABC News/Ipsos poll found nearly six out of 10 Americans want former President Donald Trump criminally charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
- Merdie Nzanga, Candy Woodall
Secret Service prepared to testify in response to Hutchinson
Secret Service officials mentioned in former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony Wednesday are prepared to testify before the House Jan. 6 committee.
The agency said Wednesday that it would make all involved parties available for further testimony after Hutchinson recounted a story about former President Donald Trump attempting to grab the steering wheel of his vehicle and assaulting an agent when he was told they would not take him to the Capitol.
Bobby Engel, the former head of Trump’s detail, and Anthony Ornato, Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, both were named in Hutchinson’s testimony. Hutchinson said Ornato told her about the incident in the presidential vehicle and that Engel, who was present for the conversation, didn’t correct it.
Both men previously have testified before the committee. Trump and his associates have sought to discredit Hutchinson and her testimony.
Trump, Giuliani complain about House committee
Former President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, each railed against the investigation Thursday and continued to question the credibility of star witness Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide.
Hutchinson testified Tuesday that Trump was unconcerned about police reporting people with rifles and pistols in the area near where he would give his speech Jan. 6 because he wanted a larger crowd.
“Her whole story was made up, including the fact that I wanted guns to be standing all around me, during my speech,” Trump said in his statement. “Who would want that?!”
Giuliani criticized two members of the committee – Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif. – and urged other members of the panel to resign. Schiff led the first impeachment against Trump on charges related to his dealings with Ukraine.
“The biggest liar appearing at the J6 witch hunt is Adam Schiff a/k/a Shifty Schiff. He said he had evidence of Russian Collusion that didn’t exist,” Giuliani wrote. “Liz Cheney has daddy issues The other members should resign in protest.”
- Bart Jansen
Kinzinger: When 'you try a coup ... you have to pay for that'
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill, one of only two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee, told comedian Stephen Colbert on the "The Late Show" that President Donald Trump was aware he'd lost the election but tried to "overcome the will of the American people."
He also said that Trump must be held responsible for the Jan. 6 attacks.
"When you try to overthrow the will of the people, and you try a coup in the United States government, you have to pay for that, period," Kinzinger said.
During Tuesday's hearing, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said that Trump knew the mob was armed at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021, and th he directed that armed mob to the U.S. Capitol.
Hutchinson was in the room with Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, during the moments leading up to the insurrection.
– Merdie Nzanga, Candy Woodall
Who is Mark Meadows?: Meet Trump's chief of staff who defied Jan. 6 committee subpoena
Who is Liz Cheney?: House Republicans' No. 3, daughter of a VP, Trump critic
What does Hutchinson’s testimony mean for Trump and his closest advisers?
Former White House Aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s explosive testimony on Wednesday revealed new allegations about what former President Donald Trump and his closest advisers knew about the potential for violence on Jan. 6 and how the former president reacted to defiance of his order to take him to the Capitol.
Trump and his allies already have disputed Hutchinson’s account and began a campaign to attack her personally.
Here’s more about what Hutchinson told the committee and what it could mean for Trump and his inner circle.
Cheney: 'Absolutely confident' in ex-White House aide's testimony
Rep. Liz Cheney said in an interview with ABC News, broadcast Thursday on "Good Morning America," that she is confident in the testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson as former President Donald Trump and those around him try to discredit her.
“I think that what Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and of patriotism in the face of real pressure,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s top Republican, told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl. “I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I’m confident in her testimony. The committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege.”
Hutchinson told the committee on Tuesday that White House officials, including Trump, knew about the potential for violence on Jan. 6 and moved forward anyway with a rally that preceded the riot at the Capitol. She also recounted a story she was told by a Secret Service official about Trump attempting to grab the steering wheel of the vehicle that was taking him back to the White House over his orders to take him to the Capitol.
Cheney said the committee has spoken to Bobby Engel, the former head of Trump’s detail, and Anthony Ornato, Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, but welcomed additional testimony under oath. The Secret Service said Wednesday that the two men were prepared to testify.
She also said she looks forward to the testimony of Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone, for whom the committee has issued a subpoena.
“I think this is an instance where the presidency, the American people, where we’ve been through something we’ve never been through before and the very real and significant chance that there was behavior under way about which Mr. Cipollone expressed significant legal concerns and I think he has an obligation to testify,” she said.
Trump's White House counsel Cipollone called to testify
The Jan. 6 committee's subpoena of former White House attorney Pat Cipollone came just one day after the committee heard groundbreaking testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as a senior aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Hutchinson revealed, among other things, that Cipollone was concerned that Trump would be exposed to a number of criminal charges for inciting a riot on the Capitol.
"The Select Committee’s investigation has revealed evidence that Mr. Cipollone repeatedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump’s activities on January 6th and in the days that preceded," Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the committee's chair and vice chair, said in a statement.
– Chelsey Cox
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jan. 6 live updates: Cheney defends Hutchinson testimony