1/ Trump knew some of his supporters were armed when he directed them to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Hutchinson, testifying before the Jan. 6 committee, said that both Trump and Meadows ignored warnings about potential violence on Jan. 6, that they both wanted Trump to join the march to the Capitol, and days before the insurrection Meadows told her “things might get real, real bad” at the Capitol. Hutchinson also detailed how, minutes before he took the stage at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, Trump insisted that Secret Service remove the metal detectors to allow his supporters armed with rifles, pistols, knives, brass knuckles, and other weapons into the rally, saying “‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me […] Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.’” Hutchinson said that Trump wanted to create a photo op of a very large crowd gathered to hear him speak. Trump then urged his supporters, knowing some of them were armed, to march to the Capitol. Hutchinson testified that after his speech, Trump demanded to be driven to the Capitol. His Secret Service detail, however, refused due to concerns of safety. When Trump was informed he would be returning to the White House instead, Hutchinson said, he became so “irate” that he “said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f’ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now.’” Trump then tried to forcibly steer his limousine to the Capitol from the back seat and lunged for the throat of his bodyguard while wrestling for control of the vehicle. Later, as Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol – some chanting “Hang Mike Pence” – Hutchinson said that Meadows told her Trump “doesn’t want to do anything. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.” And, in his one-minute video calling for rioters to leave the Capitol and go home – posted to Twitter more than two hours after the mob overtook the Capitol – Trump reportedly wanted to include language about pardoning the rioters. His legal counsel, however, advised against it. Hutchinson also said that on Dec. 1, after Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election, Trump threw his lunch at a White House wall, splattering ketchup on the wall. And, lastly, Meadows and Rudy Giuliani later sought pardons as a result of the events of Jan. 6. Trump never pardoned either adviser before leaving office. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / NPR)
✏️ Cassidy Hutchinson just changed everything. The January 6 hearings have been damning. Hutchinson’s testimony took them to a new level. (Vox)
✏️ 1/6 Takeaways: Angry Trump, dire legal warnings and ketchup. “Hutchinson testified that a defiant Trump was told there were guns and other weapons in the rally crowd at the White House, but sent his supporters to the Capitol anyway and even sought to physically pry the steering wheel from his presidential motorcade driver so he could join them.” (Associated Press)
2/ The FBI seized the phone of the attorney who developed Trump’s strategy to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results on Jan. 6. Federal agents stopped John Eastman and took his iPhone as he was leaving a restaurant last week, according to a lawsuit he filed in New Mexico to recover his property from the government. According to the filing, the seizure of Eastman’s phone came on the same day that federal agents searched the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who promised to help Trump reverse his election loss by pressuring the agency to promote his false claims of election fraud. Trump briefly considered appointing Clark to run the department because he was willing to declare the election results invalid in some key states. (Washington Post / CNN / New York Times / Politico / Wall Street Journal)
3/ The White House signaled that Biden will not pursue Senate Democratic proposals to build abortion clinics on federal land, fund people seeking abortions out of state, expanding the Supreme Court, or end the filibuster after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Progressive Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have called on Biden to declare a national medical emergency to acknowledge “the emergency situation and the urgency of getting help out.” So far, Biden’s response has consisted of urging voters to elect more Democrats and the launch of a website by the Department of Health and Human Services to help people find contraceptives and abortion services. Asked by recently if he thinks the Supreme Court is “broken,” Biden replied: “I think the Supreme Court has made some terrible decisions.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / NBC News)
4/ Global methane emissions “appear to be going in the wrong direction” despite a coalition of more than 100 nations voluntarily pledging to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Kayrros, a firm that analyzes satellite data, said methane emissions rose 20% since the easing of the coronavirus pandemic, a development the French methane tracking firm called “worrisome.” (Washington Post / Axios)
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