Bloomberg, Axios: Jan. 6 Committee 'Star Witness' Story Collapsing at Final Report Time

December 21st, 2022 1:10 PM

One can get an idea of just how weak the summary report released by the January 6 Committee is when even Bloomberg and Axios are throwing shade on the "star witness" of the hearings, Cassidy Hutchinson. Here is Bloomberg's very downbeat view on Tuesday on the credibility of Hutchinson as sadly written by Billy House in "Mystery of Trump’s Alleged Outburst on Jan. 6 Unsolved in Report."

A report by the House Jan. 6 committee failed to resolve conflicting testimony about former President Donald Trump’s actions inside a presidential SUV on the day of the US Capitol assault.

In one of the most compelling moments during hearings over the summer, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that she was told Trump reacted angrily when his security detail refused to take him to the Capitol after he had just delivered a fiery address urging his followers to march on the building as Congress prepared to certify the victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Hutchinson said she heard that Trump had lunged for the steering wheel of the vehicle. Trump, in a social media post during the hearing, denied the incident took place.

In a summary report released Monday, the panel said the person who Hutchinson said had relayed the account didn’t recall it. Tony Ornato, a long-time Secret Service agent who was working at the time as a deputy chief of staff to Trump, returned for a follow-up closed-door interview with the panel after Hutchinson’s testimony and said he didn’t remember the conversation she said she had heard.

The Secret Service also has denied her account of Trump’s outburst.

So very weak second hand hearsay sauce from the "star witness" that runs counter to first hand testimony from two witnesses. You don't have to be a legal genius to figure out which account will have much more weight in court. Yet, the J6 Committee is still desperately clinging to the Hutchinson hearsay.

But the panel asserted in the summary of its 17-month investigation that it has “has significant concerns about the credibility” of Ornato’s testimony.

Again, corroborated by another witness so good luck of hanging your J6 hopes on the "star witness."

Axios was just as downbeat on the J6 Committee "star witness" as relayed by Andrew Solender in "Jan. 6 committee's unanswered questions."

One witness the report casts as particularly unreliable is Anthony Ornato, the former Secret Service agent and White House deputy chief of staff who was at the center of bombshell testimony by former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

Hutchinson testified that Ornato relayed to her an incident in the presidential SUV on Jan. 6 in which Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent in an effort to be driven to the Capitol. Press reports after the hearing suggested Ornato denied that testimony.

A claim that even Axios has written off as a big fat hearsay nothingburger:

Although the introductory materials provided to Axios contain thorough testimony and evidence of a "furious interaction" in the SUV, they don't appear to corroborate the claim of a physical altercation.

And, poof, the J6 Committee hopes for their "star witness" appears to have gone up in smoke when even sympathetic journals such as Bloomberg and Axios see nothing there.

To get an idea of just how excited most of the media was last June  about the testimony of "star witness" Cassidy Hutchinson and how she would be a game changer in an investigation that was going nowhere, let us look at a few enthusiastic outbursts from that period starting with this June 30 NBC News report, "Cassidy Hutchinson, star witness in Jan. 6 hearings, aspired to 'civic significance'."

In explosive testimony Tuesday, the 25-year-old former White House aide testified in stark terms about Donald Trump's furious last-ditch bid to keep power in the final days of his presidency, riveting television viewers across the country and infuriating much of the political movement she once served.

Yeah, "explosive testimony" that turned into a hearsay dud.

On June 28, Politico was so sure of the credibility of the "star witness" that they even pronounced Trump guilty in their headline, "How the Jan. 6 panel’s star witness drew a roadmap for Trump’s culpability."

The Jan. 6 select committee made a big bet on Cassidy Hutchinson. She delivered on Tuesday — and then some.

Maybe you should have waited for corroborating witnesses before you made that big bet on the credibility of the "star witness."

Finally, on the same day that Politico made their "big bet" we got this entertaining hyperbole from USA Today, "In 'combustible' testimony, Cassidy Hutchinson, surprise Jan. 6 witness, quietly drops bombshells."

In riveting testimony Tuesday about the Jan. 6 Capitol assault, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson took her place in the pantheon of pivotal political figures whose eyewitness accounts could potentially change the outcome of a major investigation – or quite possibly the course of history.

"Never in history have we ever heard credible testimony before Congress this shocking against a President of the United States," tweeted noted presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

It was testimony for the ages until soon afterwards when the "star witness" credibility sank beneath the icy waves.