Jan. 6 witness that Trump allegedly dialed was White House support staffer: reports
Citing two sources familiar with the matter, CNN reported that Trump made the call after the committee heard public testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, late last month.
The witness was in a position to corroborate part of Hutchinson’s testimony, the outlet reported.
NBC confirmed that the recipient of the alleged call was a support staffer, and had also been talking to the Jan. 6 committee.
Hutchinson testified that Trump knew many in the crowd at his rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6 were armed.
She also testified that following the rally, Trump lunged at the steering wheel of his Secret Service vehicle and an agent in an attempt to join his supporters at the Capitol.
Secret Service agents are reportedly prepared to refute that part of Hutchinson’s testimony.
At the end of its most recent hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the panel’s vice chair, said Trump had placed a call to an undisclosed witness who has not appeared publicly at the hearings.
“That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump’s call and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice,” Cheney said.
“We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously,” she added.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) called the allegation “very serious” on Wednesday, and dismissed speculation Trump accidentally pocket-dialed the witness.
The Hill has reached out to Trump’s office and the Jan. 6 committee for comment.
Cheney’s revelation at Tuesday’s hearing isn’t the first allegation of a pressure campaign by Trump and his allies against committee witnesses. The panel alleged at a hearing last month that at least one witness received text messages from Trump allies in advance of their testimony.
“[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition,” a message to one witness read.