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Day 525

1/ Trump knew some of his supporters were armed when he directed them to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Hutchinson, testifying before the Jan. 6 committee, said that both Trump and Meadows ignored warnings about potential violence on Jan. 6, that they both wanted Trump to join the march to the Capitol, and days before the insurrection Meadows told her “things might get real, real bad” at the Capitol. Hutchinson also detailed how, minutes before he took the stage at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, Trump insisted that Secret Service remove the metal detectors to allow his supporters armed with rifles, pistols, knives, brass knuckles, and other weapons into the rally, saying “‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me […] Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.’” Hutchinson said that Trump wanted to create a photo op of a very large crowd gathered to hear him speak. Trump then urged his supporters, knowing some of them were armed, to march to the Capitol. Hutchinson testified that after his speech, Trump demanded to be driven to the Capitol. His Secret Service detail, however, refused due to concerns of safety. When Trump was informed he would be returning to the White House instead, Hutchinson said, he became so “irate” that he “said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f’ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now.’” Trump then tried to forcibly steer his limousine to the Capitol from the back seat and lunged for the throat of his bodyguard while wrestling for control of the vehicle. Later, as Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol – some chanting “Hang Mike Pence” – Hutchinson said that Meadows told her Trump “doesn’t want to do anything. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.” And, in his one-minute video calling for rioters to leave the Capitol and go home – posted to Twitter more than two hours after the mob overtook the Capitol – Trump reportedly wanted to include language about pardoning the rioters. His legal counsel, however, advised against it. Hutchinson also said that on Dec. 1, after Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election, Trump threw his lunch at a White House wall, splattering ketchup on the wall. And, lastly, Meadows and Rudy Giuliani later sought pardons as a result of the events of Jan. 6. Trump never pardoned either adviser before leaving office. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / NPR)

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