Former junior White House staffer Cassidy Hutchison dropped several bombshell allegations about then-President Donald Trump during sworn testimony before a ‘special’ Jan. 6 Committee hearing on Tuesday, and several of them have already been challenged.
Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann delivered a blow to Hutchinson’s testimony after he claimed that he wrote a handwritten note that Hutchinson told the January 6 House select committee that she wrote.
The note that Hutchinson said she wrote stated, “Anyone who entered the Capitol without proper authority should leave immediately.”
“Herschmann is claiming that a handwritten note regarding a potential statement for then-President Donald Trump to release during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was written by him during a meeting at the White House that afternoon, and not by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson,” ABC News reported. “At Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a handwritten note which Hutchinson testified she wrote after Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows handed her a note card and pen to take his dictation.”
“The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Eric Herschmann told ABC News. “All sources with direct knowledge and law enforcement have and will confirm that it was written by Mr. Herschmann.”
Herschmann, a highly respected attorney, came out of semi-retirement to protect Trump against others around him who were meting out bad advice.
“Anyone that has ever worked with Eric Herschmann knows that the handwriting on that note is his,” political strategist Arthur Schwartz noted on Twitter. “Cassidy lied through her teeth and Liz Cheney knew she was lying.”
Anyone that has ever worked with Eric Herschmann knows that the handwriting on that note is his. Cassidy lied through her teeth and Liz Cheney knew she was lying.
Trump White House attorney disputes Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony about handwritten notehttps://t.co/Jct1dDsN2W
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) June 29, 2022
Earlier, Hutchison claimed that Trump attempted to order the Secret Service to drive him to the U.S. Capitol Building and responded physically and angrily when the agent in charge allegedly refused.
“The president had a very strong, very angry response to” being told the Secret Service couldn’t take him to the Capitol, Hutchinson testified. “I’m the f—king president. Take me up to the Capitol now,” Trump purportedly said, according to Hutchinson.
Hutchison, who formally served under then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, then said that Trump got into the front of the presidential limo and reached towards the steering wheel.
Bobby Engel, the head of Trump’s Secret Service detail, allegedly pulled Trump’s hand off of the steering wheel, Hutchinson claimed. She was not a witness to any of this, but rather was supposedly told about it by Anthony Ornato, Trump’s chief of operations.
“Sir, you need to take your hand off of the steering wheel, we’re going back to the West Wing, we’re not going to the Capitol,” Hutchinson recounted.
“Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge toward Engel, and when Mr. Ornato recounted the story to me, he motioned to his clavicles,” she said.
But that account is now being refuted, according to multiple reports.
“New: Source close to the Secret Service tells [ABC Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas] to expect the Secret Service to push back against any allegation of an assault against an agent or President Trump reaching for the steering wheel,” ABC News Executive Editorial Producer John Santucci reported.
New: Source close to the Secret Service tells @PierreTABC to expect the Secret Service to push back against any allegation of an assault against an agent or President Trump reaching for the steering wheel.
— John Santucci (@Santucci) June 28, 2022
According to another report, Engel, who was driving the presidential limo known as ‘The Beast’ at the time, and other agents are willing to testify that they were never assaulted by Trump and that the former president did not lunge for a steering wheel.
Bobby Engel, the agent who was driving the presidential SUV, and Trump security official Tony Ornato are willing to testify under oath that no agent was assaulted and Trump never lunged for the steering wheel, a person familiar with the matter said. https://t.co/C9hVTkglLY
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2022
“A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel,” NBC News senior White House correspondent Peter Alexander added.
🚨 A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) June 28, 2022
“The Jan. 6 committee and the Secret Service are in discussions about whether one or both men will appear on camera,” Fox News reported.