One of people who may have been trying to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony did so at the behest of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources familiar with information gathered by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the vice chairwoman of the committee, brought up two examples of possible witness intimidation at a hearing featuring Hutchinson, who was an aide to Meadows in the Trump White House, earlier this week, without naming a witness or who made contact. Sources now tell CNN that both instances recounted by Cheney were directed at Hutchinson, and that Hutchinson believes the messages were intended to impact her testimony.
In one instance, Cheney said a witness received a call in which someone said: “(A person) let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”
Multiple sources now tell CNN the witness was Hutchinson and the “person” referred to in the message, which was redacted in the version projected on a screen during the hearing, was Meadows.
Ben Williamson, a spokesperson for Meadows, denied that Meadows or anyone in his “camp” attempted to intimidate Hutchinson or influence her testimony.
“No one from Meadows camp, himself or otherwise, ever sought to intimidate or shape her conversations with the committee,” Williamson told CNN.
The second example cited by the committee Tuesday – a witness statement detailing the pressure campaign from former President Donald Trump’s orbit – also involved Hutchinson, the sources told CNN.
“What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team. I’m doing the right thing. I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World,” Cheney said at the hearing, relaying the witness statement that sources now say is Hutchinson. “And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceed through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”
Since Hutchinson’s testimony, which revealed shocking new details about what Trump was doing in the days leading up to and on January 6, questions have emerged about whether Trump and his allies have put pressure on individuals willing to talk to the committee.
“I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said on Tuesday after presenting the messages. “We will be discussing these issues as a committee, carefully considering our next steps.”
CNN previously reported that at least one of the examples of potential witness intimidation the panel presented at the hearing did, in fact, involve Hutchinson. Politico was first to report that Meadows was the redacted individual referred to in the call to Hutchinson.
Hutchinson did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Friday.