Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman joins the Live show to discuss the latest surrounding the January 6 hearings.
- In a last minute hearing held by the House Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, gave a scathing testimony revealing shocking details about former President Donald Trump's behavior in the weeks surrounding the riot. Yahoo Finance's political reporter, Rick Newman, has the details. Rick?
- Well, I would put the takeaways from this testimony, which was remarkable, actually a great TV for those who watch it into two categories. First is what you might call the salacious category, these details about Trump throwing plates, yanking the tablecloth off the table and sending plates scattering. Also this allegation that he tried to basically take control of the wheel of the presidential limousine and then lunged at the clavicle of the Secret Service agent, who tried to stop him.
Now, there are some reports today that the Secret Service is saying, no, that's not what happened, but that all gets to what was on Trump's mind in his character during the waning days of his presidency. And then I think more important than that are what you might call the legally important revelations, which I would say include the fact that Trump knew there were people with weapons in the crowd, and knowing that, he told the crowd we have to fight like hell for our country. He encouraged them to go up to Capitol Hill.
And then the fact that Trump himself wanted to go up to Capitol Hill. And there was, actually-- this is not just a hearsay question, there were text messages between Trump staffers, including, I think, Secret Service agents saying he wants to go up to Capitol Hill. They were trying to stop him. And, of course, they did stop him.
But that tells you that, perhaps, Trump actually wanted these riots to unfold the way they actually unfold, and that suggests more culpability, criminal culpability that prosecutors may charge Trump with. Now, I don't take for granted that they will charge, but the case against him is gaining strength, for sure.
- And one of the other things that Liz Cheney sort of snuck in at the end in a way, she brought up some text messages that seemed to indicate witness intimidation. She didn't say who the text messages were to or where they were from, but they almost read like something in a mafia trial.
- Yeah. And she suggested that they know who they were from because they know who the witnesses are. These were not just random anonymous threats, they were text messages to witnesses from people on phone. So they, in theory, would know whose phone that came from. And that, of course, is a crime as well.
So I think what she's basically saying there is anybody who wants to continue trying to do this, to intimidate the witnesses for the committee, we're on to you. And at the same time, we are starting to see cases at the Justice Department, which would be the agency that handles any prosecutions. Those seem to be picking up as well and going for higher profile targets.
So there is an increasing level of peril for anybody who participated in Trump's election lies and his efforts to overturn the election in 2020.
- Yeah. Yesterday definitely felt like a bit of a turning point in that respect. Thanks so much, Rick. Appreciate it.
- Bye, guys.