January 6 hearing begins with former aide to Mark Meadows testifying – live | US politics

January 6 hearing begins, as Hutchinson takes witness stand

Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, has now gaveled in today’s hearing.

The committee will hear from Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as a senior adviser to Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows. She is already seated at the witness table.

Hutchinson has previously testified to investigators behind closed doors, providing valuable information about the Trump White House’s reaction to the Capitol attack and Republican lawmakers’ requests for pardons after that violent day.

This will be Hutchinson’s first public testimony since the January 6 investigation began last year. Stay tuned.

Fifty migrants found dead inside abandoned Texas trailer truck

The Guardian’s Ashifa Kassam and Ramon Antonio Vargas report:

Fifty suspected migrants were found dead and at least a dozen others were hospitalized after being found inside an abandoned tractor-trailer rig on Monday on a remote back road in south-west San Antonio, officials have said.

The discovery in Texas may prove to be the deadliest tragedy among thousands of people who have died attempting to cross the US border from Mexico in recent decades.

A person who works at a building nearby was alerted by a cry for help shortly before 6pm on Monday, police chief William McManus said. Officers arrived to find a body on the ground outside the trailer and a partially opened gate to the trailer, he said.

Initially, authorities said 46 of those inside the trailer were dead. But Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said on Tuesday that 50 people were dead, including at least 22 from Mexico, seven from Guatemala, and two from Honduras.

At least 19 others who died has not been identified, Ebrard said. He added: “We’re in mourning. A huge tragedy. Mexico will join investigations in the US,” which are being coordinated by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Read the Guardian’s full report:

Today so far

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Cassidy Hutchinson is expected to testify at the January 6 committee’s hearing this afternoon, which will start in about an hour. Hutchinson served as a senior adviser to Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and she has provided some of the most damning evidence gathered by the select committee investigating the Capitol attack. At the last hearing, the committee played a clip of Hutchinson’s private testimony, in which she alleged that multiple Republican members of Congress requested presidential pardons after the insurrection.
  • Hutchinson’s testimony may include more details about Trump’s response to insurrectionists’ chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” Hutchinson reportedly told the committee that Trump reacted approvingly when informed of the chants, and her testimony could shed new light on how the former president handled the escalating violence at the Capitol.
  • Joe Biden will meet tomorrow with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, as the two leaders attend the Nato summit in Madrid, Spain. The exact format and timing of the meeting is still unclear, but Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that the focus of the discussion would be on US-Turkish relations and the bids from Finland and Sweden to join Nato, which Erdoğan has opposed.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Norm Eisen, a senior Brookings fellow who served as House Democrats’ counsel during Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, argued that Cassidy Hutchinson could become the John Dean of the January 6 hearings.

Dean served as White House counsel for Richard Nixon, and he famously testified to Congress about the then-president’s involvement in the Watergate scandal.

“As I said when the hearings started (seems so long ago) Cassidy Hutchinson might be the next John Dean,” Eisen said on Twitter. “True, she’s much more junior. But boy—she sure saw a lot. Today we will find out if I was right.”

As I said when the hearings started (seems so long ago) Cassidy Hutchinson might be the next John Dean. True, she’s much more junior. But boy—she sure saw a lot. Today we will find out if I was right. https://t.co/LvVUTvUMXG

— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) June 28, 2022

It’s worth noting that Cassidy Hutchinson recently changed her legal representation in connection to the January 6 investigation.

Hutchinson’s decision to replace her former lawyer, Stefan Passantino, with Jody Hunt of the law firm Alston Bird was interpreted as a signal of her increased willingness to cooperate with the January 6 committee’s requests for information.

Politico reported earlier this month:

Hutchinson’s former attorney, Stefan Passantino, has deep Trump World connections. Her new lawyer, Jody Hunt, is a longtime close ally of Jeff Sessions and served as his chief of staff when the former attorney general enraged Trump by recusing from the Russia probe. …

Passantino, Hutchinson’s former attorney, was the Trump White House’s chief ethics lawyer. And Passantino’s firm, Michael Best, has Trump World connections; its president is former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Justin Clark — also a top Trump World lawyer — is currently on leave from the firm, according to its website.

Today’s testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson could also reveal more details about Donald Trump’s response to insurrectionists’ chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” on January 6.

At the January 6 committee’s first public hearing earlier this month, Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the panel, said witness testimony indicated Trump was informed of the chants and reacted approvingly to them.

“You will hear that President Trump was yelling and ‘really angry’ at advisers who told him he needed to be doing something more,” Cheney said at the first hearing.

“And aware of the rioters’ chants to hang Mike Pence, the president responded with this sentiment, ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence ‘deserves it.’”

According to CNN, Hutchinson was the witness who provided the committee with that information, so today’s hearing could give her an opportunity to offer valuable new insight into how Trump reacted as January 6 turned violent.

Hutchinson to testify at today’s January 6 hearing, source confirms

Lauren Gambino

Lauren Gambino

The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is expected to hear live public testimony on Tuesday from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Mark Meadows, the last chief of staff to Donald Trump, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The committee on Monday abruptly scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, suggesting a sense of urgency to disclose what it said was “recently obtained evidence”. The committee had previously said it would not hold any more hearings until next month.

It is the sixth public hearing held by the committee after a year-long investigation into the Capitol attack. Two more hearings are expected next month.

The hearings next month are expected to delve into the role of far-right and paramilitary groups organized and prepared for the January 6 attack and Trump’s abdication of leadership during the hours-long siege of the Capitol.

Biden to meet with Erdogan tomorrow

Joe Biden will meet tomorrow with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, as the two leaders attend the Nato summit in Madrid, Spain.

The White House announced the planned meeting during the daily press briefing, which was held today aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from Germany, where he attended the G7 summit, to Spain.

Biden has just arrived in Madrid, where he will soon meet with the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and King Felipe VI.

Joe Biden is greeted by King Felipe VI of Spain as he arrives at Madrid-Torrejon Airport.
Joe Biden is greeted by King Felipe VI of Spain as he arrives at Madrid-Torrejon Airport. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The exact format and timing of the Erdoğan meeting is still unclear, but Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that the focus of the discussion would be on US-Turkish relations and the bids from Finland and Sweden to join Nato.

Turkey has raised objections to Finland and Sweden’s bids, which were submitted in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Erdoğan has specifically accused Sweden of being a “hatchery” for terrorist organizations, per Reuters.

The meeting tomorrow could give Biden an opportunity to press Erdoğan on those reservations and attempt to convince him to support Nato membership for Finland and Sweden.

It remains unclear what new information Cassidy Hutchinson, former senior aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, might provide in her testimony today before the January 6 committee.

But according to Brendan Buck, a longtime adviser to former Republican House speaker Paul Ryan, Hutchinson joined every meeting that Meadows participated in as a congressman. (Meadows served in the House from 2013 to 2020.)

“I don’t know Cassidy Hutchinson, and I can’t speak to how things worked at the White House, but when Meadows was on the Hill he always insisted that she be in *every* meeting he had, no matter how small,” Buck said on Twitter. “It was odd then, and [doesn’t] seem to be working out for him now.”

I don’t know Cassidy Hutchinson, and I can’t speak to how things worked at the White House, but when Meadows was on the Hill he always insisted that she be in *every* meeting he had, no matter how small. It was odd then, and doesnt seem to be working out for him now.

— Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) June 28, 2022

Hugo Lowell

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is closely focused on phone calls and conversations among Donald Trump’s children and top aides captured by a documentary film-maker weeks before the 2020 election, say sources familiar with the matter.

The calls among Trump’s children and top aides took place at an invitation-only event at the Trump International hotel in Washington that took place the night of the first presidential debate on 29 September 2020, the sources said.

The select committee is interested in the calls, the sources said, since the footage is understood to show the former president’s children, including Donald Jr and Eric Trump, privately discussing strategies about the election at a crucial time in the presidential campaign.

House investigators first learned about the event, hosted by the Trump campaign, and the existence of the footage through British film-maker Alex Holder, who testified about what he and his crew recorded during a two-hour interview last week, the sources said.

Read the Guardian’s full report:

Former Meadows aide reportedly set to testify at January 6 hearing

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection will hold its sixth public hearing of the month at 1pm ET, after the panel surprisingly announced the event yesterday.

According to multiple reports, the star witness for today’s surprise hearing will be Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, who served as Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff. (Punchbowl News first reported Hutchinson’s expected appearance.)

This exhibit from video released by the House select committee shows Cassidy Hutchinson speaking to investigators.
This exhibit from video released by the House select committee shows Cassidy Hutchinson speaking to investigators. Photograph: AP

Hutchinson has already spoken to investigators behind closed doors, and she provided the committee with some of its most damning evidence about the Trump White House’s ties to the attack on the Capitol.

In a clip of her private testimony played at a hearing last week, Hutchinson named several Republican members of Congress who sought president pardons in connection to their involvement in the insurrection.

Today could give Hutchinson her first opportunity to speak directly to the American people about what she witnessed in the White House on January 6 and in the aftermath of that violent day.

The hearing will kick off in a few hours, and the blog will have updates and analysis once it starts. Stay tuned.

And here’s what else is happening today:

  • Joe Biden is traveling from Germany to Spain. Biden is participating in the final day of the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, before traveling on to Madrid, Spain, for the start of the Nato summit.
  • Karine Jean-Pierre will gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Madrid. The White House press secretary will be joined by Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser.
  • Today marks the 10th anniversary of the supreme court’s decision to uphold key portions of the Affordable Care Act. The anniversary comes as the country awaits the court’s final four decisions of the term, which has already seen conservative justices overturn Roe v Wade and deliver a major victory to gun rights groups.

The blog will have more coming up, so stick around.

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