Donald Trump Grabbed Steering Wheel, Lunged at Security to Get to Capitol on Jan. 6, Aide Testifies

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, offered an explosive testimony.

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, offered explosive testimony Tuesday that former President Donald Trump wanted to get to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – even grabbing the steering wheel of the presidential limousine and lunging at his head of security when he was told he could not go, she said.

Trump was also told that the crowd at his rally at the Ellipse ahead of the Capitol riot had guns and other weapons, Hutchinson said. She testified that Trump said "something to the effect of, 'I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away." 

Hutchinson's stunning testimony came during a hearing that the House Jan. 6 committee had only announced a day earlier. 

Hutchinson recalled that on Jan. 2, 2021, Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said to her, "'Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It's going to be a great day.'"

Hutchinson testified that she asked Giuliani to explain the significance of Jan. 6. She said he responded, "We're going to the Capitol. It's going to be great. The president is going to be there, he's going to look powerful," and he encouraged her to speak with Meadows.

After Giuliani left the White House campus, Hutchinson said she did ask Meadows about Jan. 6 and he said "'it sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.'"

"'There's a lot going on Cass, but I don't know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6,'" Meadows told Hutchinson, she recalled.

Hutchinson also testified about how angry Trump was after Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press in an interview after the 2020 election that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change its outcome.

Entering the dining room at the White House, Hutchinson observed a valet changing the tablecloth. The valet motioned toward the fireplace mantle and television, she said. 

"I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," she told the committee. "The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall."

Hutchinson then grabbed a towel to assist and recalled the valet told her about Trump, "he's really ticked off about this. I would stay clear of him for right now."

At a prior hearing, the Jan. 6 committee played video snippets of Barr's testimony. In that snippet, he said "I went over there and I told my secretary that I would probably be fired and told not to … not to go back to my office, so I said, 'You might have to pack up for me." 

In a partial transcript of an February interview with the panel, Hutchinson said Anthony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official who was detailed to the White House and served as deputy chief of operations, brought Meadows intelligence reports that "indicated that there could be violence on the 6th," but she was not sure what he did with the information internally. 

In the March interview with the committee, Hutchinson told investigators she heard the White House counsel's office say the plan to have alternate electors meet and cast votes for Trump in states he lost was not legally sound.

Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, warned about the legality of the fake-electors scheme in a meeting with Meadows, Giuliani and his "associates" in a meeting that took place around early- to mid-December, she said. Hutchinson was also inclined to say that Pat Philbin, deputy counsel to the president, was also warning Meadows about this, but she wasn't sure.

She said the White House counsel's office also raised issues with the lawfulness of the alternate electors plan in meetings with members of Congress, also in early- to mid-December. She recalled Perry and Reps. Matt Gaetz and Louie Gohmert being at the meetings and "pushing back a little bit."

This story was originally published by CBS News on June 28, 2022 at 3:34 p.m. ET.