Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has demanded the production of White House surveillance records to either verify or disprove the sensational testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson before the January 6 Committee last Tuesday. The former top aide to President Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appeared as a “blockbuster witness” for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-selected committee.
Hutchinson offered shocking hearsay testimony that she was told about acts of rage by President Trump in the presidential limousine as the Capitol Building was being entered by a crowd of supporters.
She said that the president assaulted a Secret Service agent detailed to protect him and tried to overtake the limousine in order to travel to the Capitol. Hutchinson said, “The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f’ing president, take me up to the Capitol now.’”
The alleged sources of Hutchinson’s testimony disputed her statements within hours. The agents with first-hand knowledge of the events described said they were prepared to testify on the record and under oath about the true facts.
Other key details of Hutchinson’s testimony have fallen apart in the days since her testimony. She said that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told aides to keep the president away from the Capitol.
Committee Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) asked her to confirm that Cipollone said “‘make sure the movement to the Capitol does not happen.” Hutchinson said that he did and also said “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable” if the president goes up to the Capitol building.
Multiple sources with first-hand knowledge of the staff present at the White House on January 6 have confirmed that Cipollone was not there at all on January 6. Pat Philbin was reportedly filling in for Cipollone that morning. A source added that not only was Cipollone not present, “he simply doesn’t speak like that.”
Banks has written to Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in order to investigate Hutchinson’s testimony. He asked to review records including White House gate logs and surveillance video that will help indicate what senior staff members were present during the times described by Hutchinson.
Banks has been leading a Republican probe of the events of January 6 independently of Pelosi’s committee made up of her chosen Democrats and two “never-Trump” Republicans, Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
Banks has also written to Cipollone asking him if he was present at the White House on January 6, 2021, and if so, at what times.
Banks gave Mayorkas until July 8 to respond to his demand for the White House records. Pelosi’s committee is not expected to conduct further public hearings before that date.