Two weeks after the Jan. 6 Committee introduced a new series of blockbuster claims from surprise witness Cassidy Hutchinson, most of which have failed close scrutiny, panel members are expecting the press to take her testimony at face value.
California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a 2019 House impeachment manager who now serves on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest anti-Trump probe in the Select Committee, went on CNN Sunday to conduct damage control as the Democrats’ desperate narrative ahead of the November midterms fell apart.
Lofgren was asked about the panel’s questioning of former Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who spoke with the committee in April but was asked back after explosive allegations from Hutchinson were left uncorroborated. Hutchinson told lawmakers in public testimony that Cipollone pressured the low-level White House aide to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to keep the president from going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 or “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable.”
“I saw Mr. Cipollone right before I walked out onto West Exec that morning, and Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of ‘please make sure we don’t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me,’” Hutchinson said.
Multiple sources told The Federalist, however, that Cipollone was not at the White House on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021. Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who is leading House Republicans’ investigation of the Capitol riot after Pelosi expelled him from his minority appointment as ranking member of the Select Committee, demanded White House visitation records to probe Hutchinson’s claims.
When pressed on whether the panel asked Cipollone to confirm Hutchinson’s testimony, Lofgren said the committee was uninterested, despite the episode serving as a focal point in Hutchinson’s narrative.
“We never call in witnesses to corroborate other witnesses or to give their reaction to other witnesses,” Lofgren admitted on national television to CNN’s Jake Tapper.
In other words, Lofgren conceded the committee’s proceedings are a Soviet-style partisan show trial operating for the sole purpose of smearing political dissidents, with no regard for the truth.
One day after Hutchinson appeared before lawmakers, Tapper pressed panel member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who also served as a House impeachment manager last year, on how the committee would corroborate its newest star witness. Among her series of unsubstantiated claims, Hutchinson shared a story on how Trump attempted to violently hijack the presidential limousine and drive himself to the Capitol. The story, however, relied entirely on supposed conversations she had with others who refuted her testimony hours after she took the stand.
“She did not see it happen,” Tapper told Raskin. “Do you have any corroborating evidence?”
“Well, the story that she told is the evidence that I’m aware of,” Raskin said. “And I’ve not seen anything to contradict it.”
Except those who supposedly did see the episode in question said they were prepared to testify on-record and under oath that Hutchinson’s story of a president in rage assaulting Secret Service agents was a fable.
Hutchinson’s appearance is far from the first time the Jan. 6 Committee has injected fictitious narratives into a friendly media environment, whose more than two hours of testimony even became a comic book tale in The Washington Post. In December, committee members deceptively manipulated text messages twice, and panel Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., fabricated a false timeline of Jan. 6 to indict Trump as complicit in the chaos. In its recent hearings, the committee also lied about a DOJ attorney’s involvement in the president’s efforts to halt the certification of the election.
Lofgren admitted, however, that the Jan. 6 show trials aren’t about uncovering truth anyway.
Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]