Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) stood by the bombshell testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
“I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I’m confident in her testimony,” Cheney told ABC’s “This Week,” in an interview due to air in full on Sunday.
Hutchinson, the only live witness at Tuesday’s surprise Jan. 6 committee hearing, revealed Trump knew his supporters were armed on the day, but still told them to march to the Capitol. She also revealed Meadows had been previously warned Jan. 6 could turn violent.
“I think that what Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure,” Cheney said.
Hutchinson, who has already “obtained security” following threats to her safety, also shared a second-hand account that Trump was “irate” after Secret Service agents told him they were not taking him to the Capitol for security reasons. An angry Trump reportedly tried to grab the steering wheel of his limousine, before lunging at agent Bobby Engel.
But some Republicans, including the former president himself, have sought to discredit Hutchinson’s accounts.
“I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and ‘leaker’),” Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, during the hearing.
George Terwilliger, Meadows’ lawyer, told The Associated Press Hutchinson’s claims “could not withstand even five minutes of fundamental cross-examination.”
“Most of it is based on hearsay, lack of first-hand knowledge and even just pure speculation as to what others were thinking, said or did,” Terwilliger said.
Hutchinson testified that Meadows also sought a presidential pardon following Jan. 6.
Despite the backlash, Hutchinson’s lawyers, Jody Hunt and William Jordan, issued a statement obtained by CNN’s Jake Tapper: “Ms. Hutchinson stands by all of the testimony she provided yesterday, under oath, to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.”
Cheney, the vice chair of the House panel, also pledged to defend Hutchinson.
“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,” Cheney told ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
At the end of Tuesday’s hearing, Cheney said Trump allies have been intimidating witnesses with inside knowledge of what was happening inside the White House.
“I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said at the hearing. “We’ll be discussing these issues as a committee, carefully considering our next steps.”