When pressed about why their panel had refused to verify some of the more dubious claims made by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, multiple members of the House Jan. 6 Committee claimed that it was simply not their policy to do so.
“We never call in witnesses to corroborate other witnesses, or to give their reaction to other witnesses,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
Lofgren’s answer was in response to a question about unverified statements made by Hutchinson, the former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Hutchinson had claimed that in the White House on Jan. 6, Trump counsel Pat Cipollone had warned her that they were “going to get charged with every crime imaginable” if the president went to the Capitol Building.
Sources indicate, however, that Cipollone wasn’t even present at the White House on the morning of Jan. 6, raising serious doubts about the truthfulness of Hutchinson’s claims.
Despite the bold question mark hanging over the Hutchinson testimony, when Cipollone was called in before the Jan. 6 panel for a second time, committee members never asked the former White House counsel whether the statement attributed to him was true.
In an interview, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) echoed Lofgren’s insistence that their glaring oversight was just a result of how the panel operated. “We’re not going to bring somebody in and just sit around and ask them about what other people said, too,” Kinzinger said Sunday.
That claim came crashing down on Tuesday, however, when the committee aired footage from their recent interview with Cipollone. As the video clearly showed, the panel had asked Cipollone to “corroborate” another witness and give his “reaction” — just not about Hutchinson’s allegations.
Instead of questioning Cipollone about Hutchinson’s dubious portrayal of the events of Jan. 6 — which committee members perhaps feared would fall apart under scrutiny — the Pelosi-assembled panel asked him about statements Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller had made about attorney John Eastman.
As it turns out, the Jan. 6 committee does verify the claims of its witnesses — but only when doing so will produce a politically convenient outcome for the panel.