Thompson and Cheney Opening Remarks at Select Committee Hearing
- As Delivered –
Chairman Thompson: “Good afternoon.
“In our hearings over the previous weeks, the Select Committee has laid out the details of a multi-part pressure campaign driven by the former President aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election and blocking the transfer of power.
“We’ve shown that this effort was based on a lie—a lie that the election was stolen tainted by widespread fraud.
“Donald Trump’s Big Lie.
“In the weeks ahead, the committee will hold additional hearings about how Donald Trump summoned a mob of his supporters to Washington spurred them to march on the Capitol and failed to take meaningful action to quell the violence as it was unfolding on January 6th.
“However, in recent days, the Select Committee has obtained new information dealing with what was going on in the White House on January 6th and in the days prior.
“Specific, detailed information about what the former President and his top aides were doing and saying in those critical hours.
“Firsthand details of what transpired in the office of the White House Chief of Staff—just steps from the Oval Office—as the threats of violence became clear and, indeed, violence ultimately descended on the Capitol in the attack on American democracy.
“It’s important that the American people hear that information immediately. That’s why, in consultation with the Vice Chair, I’ve recalled the committee for today’s hearing.
“As you’ve seen and heard in our earlier hearings, the Select Committee has developed a massive body of evidence thanks to the many hundreds of witnesses who have voluntarily provided information relevant to our investigation.
“It hasn’t always been easy to get that information because the same people who drove the former President’s pressure campaign to overturn the election are now trying to cover up the truth about January 6th.
“But thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won’t be buried. The American people won’t be left in the dark. Our witness today, Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson, has embodied that courage.
“I won’t get into a lot of detail about Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony will show. I’ll allow her words to speak for themselves. And I hope everyone at home will listen very closely.
“First, I’ll recognize our distinguished Vice Chair, Ms. Cheney of Wyoming, for any opening statement she’d care to offer.
Vice Chair Cheney: “Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
“In our first five hearings, the Committee has heard from a significant number of Republicans, including former Trump Administration Justice Department Officials, Trump Campaign officials, several members of President Trump’s White House staff, a prominent conservative judge and several others.
“Today’s witness, Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson is another Republican, and another former member of President Trump’s White House staff.
“Certain of us in the House of Representatives recall that Ms. Hutchinson once worked for House Republican Whip, Steve Scalise.
“But she is also a familiar face on Capitol Hill because she held a prominent role in the White House legislative affairs office, and later was the principal aide to President Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows.
“Ms. Hutchinson has spent considerable time up here on Capitol Hill representing the Trump Administration. And we welcome her back.
“Up until now, our hearings have each been organized to address specific elements of President Trump’s plan to overturn the 2020 Presidential election.
“Today, we are departing somewhat from that model because Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony touches on several important and crosscutting topics – topics that are relevant to each of our future hearings.
“In her role working for the White House Chief of Staff, Ms. Hutchinson handled a vast number of sensitive issues. She worked in the West Wing, several steps down the hall from the Oval Office.
“Ms. Hutchinson spoke daily with members of Congress, with high-ranking officials in the administration, with senior White House staff, including Mr. Meadows, with White House Counsel lawyers, and with Mr. Tony Ornado who served as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff.
“She also worked on a daily basis with members of the Secret Service who were posted in the White House.
“In short, Ms. Hutchinson was in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House.
“Ms. Hutchinson has already sat for four videotaped interviews with Committee investigators. And we thank her very much for her cooperation and for her courage.
“We will cover certain but not all relevant topics within Ms. Hutchinson’s knowledge today.
“Again, our future hearings will supply greater detail, putting the testimony today in a broader and more complete context.
“Today, you will hear Ms. Hutchinson relate certain first-hand observations of President Trump’s conduct on January 6th.
“You will also hear new information regarding the actions and statements of Mr. Trump’s senior advisors that day, including his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and his White House Counsel.
“And we will begin to examine evidence bearing on what President Trump and members of the White House staff knew about the prospect for violence on January 6th even before that violence began.
“To best communicate the information the Committee has gathered, we will follow the practice of our recent hearings, playing videotaped testimony from Ms. Hutchinson and others, and also posing questions to Ms. Hutchinson live.
“Mr. Chairman, I yield back.”