Former White House aide was threatened before giving testimony

Cassidy Hutchinson received message from associate of former chief of staff Mark Meadows warning her not to co-operate with committee investigating Capitol attack

Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to co-operate with the House January 6th select committee from an associate of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to two sources.

The message was the second of the two warnings that the select committee disclosed at the end of its special hearing when Ms Hutchinson testified about how Donald Trump directed a crowd he knew was armed to march on the Capitol, the sources said.

“[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition,” read the message. The redaction was Meadows, the sources said.

The message was presented during closing remarks at the special hearing with Ms Hutchinson by the panel’s vice-chairwoman, Liz Cheney, who characterised the missive as improper pressure on a crucial witness that could extend to illegal witness tampering or intimidation.

The exact identity of the person who sent Hutchinson the message — beyond the fact that they were an associate of Meadows — could not be confirmed on Thursday, but that may be in part because the select committee may wish to interview that person, the sources said.

That appears to indicate that the person who sent the message was a close associate of the former White House chief of staff who may themselves be a fact witness to what Mr Trump and Ms Meadows were doing and thinking ahead of the Capitol attack.

Neither a spokesman for Mr Meadows nor Ms Hutchinson responded to a request for comment Thursday evening.

The other message was also directed at Ms Hutchinson, the sources said; the quote displayed on the slide was one of several calls from Trump allies that she recounted to House investigators.

“What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in the good graces in Trump World,” the slide read.

“And they reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”

The identity of the people who called Ms Hutchinson, warning her presumably not to implicate the former president, could not be established beyond the fact that they were people close to Mr Trump, though the select committee is understood to be aware of all of the people.

Politico, which first reported that the message to Ms Hutchinson came from an associate of Mr Meadows, also reported that it came before her second interview with the select committee. Ms Hutchinson changed lawyers before her fourth deposition that preceded her public testimony. — Guardian