The President’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and Donald Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on January 6, 2021, including that Trump supporters had weapons when they gathered on the Ellipse that day , testified the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Hutchinson also testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said he spoke to Trump about the guns at his January 6, 2021 rally.
The House Select Committee investigation heard from law enforcement reports that those present at the Trump rally on the Ellipse had pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, Tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, Vice President Liz Cheney said Tuesday.
Hutchinson confirmed that this was also known inside the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021. She said she witnessed a weapons discussion between Ornato and Meadows, her boss.
Ornato told Meadows about the weaponry and mentioned to Hutchinson “these goddamn people attach spears to the ends of flag poles,” she said in previous testimony that the committee released as a video clip on Tuesday. .
But Hutchinson said Meadows on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, didn’t look up from his phone, barely appearing to register what was said.
Meadows asked Ornato, “Have you spoken to the president?” she remembers. Ornato said he informed Trump, she added.
The Justice Department proved in court that some of those who violated the Capitol were carrying guns and fighting the police line with other weapons.
The House committee also released police radio traffic on Tuesday identifying firearms being transported in downtown Washington, DC, near the Ellipse.