Analysis: Why today’s 6/1 hearing was absolutely devastating for Donald Trump

The committee hearing on Tuesday was something quite different: Cassidy Hutchinson, a former senior adviser to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, provided intimate and poignant details of what happened that day and, specifically, how Donald Trump acted.

It was, in a word, ugly.

1) Hutchinson said she was told that when Trump got back into the presidential limousine, known as the Beast, and was told he couldn’t join the protesters on Capitol Hill, she lost it. The then president tried to grab the steering wheel and, when one of his security elements approached to stop him, he grabbed him by the throat.

2) Trump, in expletive-laden language, urged that people with weapons (guns, knives and the like) go through the magnetometers before his speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally. Its objective? He claims that photos and video of the event showed a packed crowd listening to him. “You’re not here to hurt me,” Trump reportedly told people.

3) Meadows, when pressed by White House counsel Pat Cipollone to say something else amid chants of “Hang Mike Pence” at the US Capitol, responded, according to Hutchinson: “[Trump] thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”

Consider that. The President of the United States tried to seize his limousine, was prevented from doing so, and hit one of the people in charge of protecting him. The president, knowing there are armed people gathered, urged that they be allowed into a confined space to make the crowd appear robust. Amid chants that his vice president would be hanged, Trump said he deserved it.

It sounds more like the plot of a bad made-for-TV movie than real life. And all this happened on the same day that thousands of people stormed the Capitol, leaving 5 dead and more than 100 police officers injured.

In each of these cases, Trump resented having his power, or that of the mob, reduced in some way. The image of Trump created in Hutchinson’s testimony is that of someone mad with rage, losing control even as he promoted the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and urged his supporters to go to Washington on January 6 to protest. for the results.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former chief of staff, acknowledged the damage done to the former president at Tuesday’s hearing. “(If) the president knew the protesters had guns, and yet he encouraged them to go to Capitol Hill, that’s a serious problem.” mulvaney tweeted.

And, again, this behavior was not unique on January 6. Trump’s behavior was erratic in the months after the election.

The January 6 committee holds the sixth hearing
Hutchinson recounted that shortly after Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press that he “hadn’t seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different election outcome” in early December, she walked into the presidential dining room to find a valet cleaning, with ketchup dripping from the wall. “The president was extremely angry about the AG’s interview with the AP and had thrown his lunch against the wall,” Hutchinson said.

Asked if that was the only time Trump behaved in such a way, Hutchinson said no. “There were several times where I noticed him knocking over the plates or flipping the tablecloth over so that the entire contents of the table fell on the floor.”

Trump is portrayed as a man desperately clinging to power, resistant to any attempts to curtail what he believed to be his absolute power to do as he pleased, including remaining in office by any means necessary.

It’s an ugly portrait. And, unfortunately, an accurate one.

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