By Zachary Cohen and Jim Acosta, CNN
The American people may soon hear directly from a key witness in the House January 6 select committee’s investigation who can speak to former President Donald Trump‘s approving reaction to the US Capitol riot — live testimony that could be the most important moment of the panel’s upcoming public hearings.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is now likely to testify in person during one of the committee’s upcoming hearings after she replaced her lawyer who had significant links to the former President, according to a source familiar with the matter
The committee has previously said it considers Hutchinson a key witness in its ongoing investigation, and she has testified several times behind closed doors.
Hutchinson told the January 6 committee that Trump had suggested to Meadows he approved of the “hang Mike Pence” chants from rioters who stormed the US Capitol, CNN has reported.
She also testified that Trump complained about his then-vice president being hustled to safety while Trump supporters breached the Capitol, the sources told CNN.
Hutchinson has answered the panel’s questions during three separate sessions and went over “new ground” with the committee last month, though it was not immediately clear what was discussed during that deposition.
Hutchinson was not willing to risk taking a contempt of Congress charge to impede the probe and the change in representation is a sign she is more willing to cooperate with the committee, the source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Her former boss, Meadows, was referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal contempt charges, but the DOJ ultimately decided not to pursue such a case.
Hutchinson was initially represented by Stefan Passantino, an attorney with significant links to people in Trump’s orbit.
She fired Passantino, the source said, and is now represented by Jody Hunt of Alston Bird.
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