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Attacks on Cassidy Hutchinson were predictable, House committee member says

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Rep. Zoe Lofgren said in an interview that aired Sunday that she is not surprised Cassidy Hutchinson’s blockbuster Jan. 6 testimony last week has come under attack from former President Donald Trump and his allies.

The California Democrat, who sits on the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that she expected Trump and friends would try to undermine the legitimacy of the former White House aide.

“Well, we always expected Trump world to try and discredit her, and they are not disappointing us in that regard,” Lofgren told host Chuck Todd. “I thought her testimony was credible. She has nothing to gain by stepping forward and telling the truth. And Trump world has everything to lose by the truth. So they are doing their best to try and attack her, to discredit her.”

In her testimony, Hutchinson shared that former Secret Service Agent Anthony Ornato told her that Trump lunged toward the head of his detail on Jan. 6 in order to be driven to the Capitol and join his supporters.

Lofgren said that although Ornato’s memory “doesn’t appear to be as precise,” Hutchinson’s testimony is consistent with what others have said.

“Certainly, her testimony that she directly overheard President Trump saying that he didn’t care if they had weapons, if the crowd had weapons, that they were not going to hurt him, and that they could march to the Capitol with their weapons after the speech. That was new and stunning, really,” she said.

When asked by Todd if the House committee blindsided the Department of Justice with Hutchinson’s testimony, Lofgren said she did not think so and was surprised that the DOJ didn’t subpoena the former aide themselves.

“I was surprised that the prosecutors were surprised. What are they doing over there?” Lofgren said. “They have a much greater opportunity to enforce their subpoenas than our legislative committee does.”

The committee is expecting to get a deposition on July 6 from Pat Cipollone, Trump’s White House counsel. Cipollone, who reportedly was a major source of  pushback against Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, was subpoenaed after Hutchinson’s testimony “was so informative,” Lofgren told Todd. He had previously given an informal interview to the committee but has expressed concern about executive privilege, which isn’t an “absolute immunity,” Lofgren explained.

President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege “on most occasions when it comes to getting the truth about the events leading up to January 6,” she said.

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