March 22, 2023

SMART SWITCH: Hutchinson whistleblower testimony credited to new legal team

SMART SWITCH: Hutchinson whistleblower testimony credited to new legal team

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Jan. 6th star witness Cassidy Hutchinson reached out to former White House staffer Alyssa Farah Griffin to set up her additional testimony with the investigative panel. Hutchinson told Griffin, “There’s more I want to share with the committee.”

According to Trump’s former director of strategic communications, Hutchinson felt she wasn’t asked the right questions in her initial interviews with the committee – and her attorneys may have had something to do with that. Griffin told CNN’s New Day panel, “Trumpworld was assigning lawyers to a lot of these staffers.”

Low-level staffers in the Trump administration who were unable to pay for their own legal teams typically had one provided for them by Trump’s PAC, especially those with more intimate knowledge of the goings-on in Trump’s inner circle. And paying for their attorneys was one way to ensure loyalty and see who’s a “team player.” According to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), an unnamed witness told the committee:

“What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I’m on the right team. I’m doing the right thing. I’m protecting who I need to protect. You know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump world. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts.”

This not-so-subtle pressure was targeted at staffers like Cassidy Hutchinson – former senior aide to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows – whose Tuesday testimony sent shockwaves through the Trump universe and the rest of America.

During Hutchinson’s previous interviews, she was represented by Stefan Passantino, a former lawyer in Trump’s White House, and still very much connected to the ex-President. When an uneasy Hutchinson reached out to Griffin, telling her “there’s more I want to share that wasn’t asked in those settings, how do we do this?” Griffin put her in touch with Cheney – the select committee’s Vice-Chair. Griffin said to the CNN New Day panel:

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

When the January 6th Committee announced an unscheduled hearing, there was a lot of speculation as to who the witness would be. Some thought it may be Mo Brooks, who had changed his mind about testifying after revelations he sought a pardon. Others thought it may be Mark Meadows himself. But the surprise witness would turn out to be someone most of us had never heard of, but one with a bird’s eye view on January 6th and who was witness to everything behind-the-scenes. Armed with a new legal team – headed by a former Chief of Staff to former Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions – Hutchinson was ready to share all she remembered from that day.

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And she didn’t disappoint. Griffin told CNN that Hutchinson knew her life would change when she testified, but she went in eyes wide open. Despite attempts by allies of Trump and Meadows to intimidate the 26-year-old, she didn’t back down. And America is grateful.

View Alyssa Farah Griffin on CNN’s New Day here.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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