Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, leaves after testifying as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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A lot of minds are already made up about what happened on Jan. 6, 2021. Given the overwhelming evidence available in real time and continuing to pile up after the attack on the U.S. Capitol that day, many Americans have long recognized Donald Trump’s responsibility for the violence that erupted.

For others, it seems Trump can do no wrong. Or they feel that those continuing to voice concerns about Jan. 6 are making too big a deal of what happened that day.

With these diverging and often solidified perspectives, it might be easy for some to write off the Jan. 6 committee hearings as something we’ve already seen before — where the information and responses will be equally predictable. But that has not been the case.

Just look at Tuesday’s testimony from former Trump administration official Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as an aide to the president’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and was with him on Jan. 6. Pre-taped deposition testimony from Hutchinson had already been played previously by the committee, but she appeared in person on Tuesday.

She added further detail to what was happening inside the White House leading up to and during the attack on the Capitol. All of it was bad for Trump and anyone continuing to defend his action — and inaction — related to the violent mob that day.

Some of Hutchinson’s testimony was secondhand, as she was recounting things she said other people had told her about events where she was not present, like Trump allegedly  reaching for the wheel of his secure vehicle when he was not being taken to the Capitol. But much of it was testimony about things she witnessed and heard firsthand while working and traveling with Meadows. Like on Jan. 2, when she said Meadows told her that things could get bad on Jan. 6. Or when she said White House Counsel Pat Cipollone  repeatedly insisted that Trump not go to the Capitol on Jan. 6 for fear of possible criminal liability. Or during the attack, when Hutchinson said Cipollone called for a more forceful response and Meadows replied (as she understood it) that Trump didn’t think the rioters in the Capitol were doing anything wrong and that the chants of “Hang Mike Pence” were deserved. Or saying she heard Trump being made aware that people trying to get into his rally had weapons, and him responding by seeming to care more about crowd size.

Collectively, this testimony helps crystallize a picture of Trump’s intent on Jan. 6, of what he and administration officials knew, and how they responded. It demonstrates a White House and a president who knew there was potential for bad things to happen. And when violence erupted, it seems Trump was fine with it.

Predictably, Trump quickly took to his online platform Truth Social to disparage Hutchinson and dispute her testimony. He called her “bad news” and someone he hardly knew.

There’s a simple solution for Trump if he feels there is something to correct in the record: Show up and testify himself, under oath.

As Brett Baier pointed out on Fox News following her testimony on Tuesday, “Cassidy Hutchinson is under oath on Capitol Hill. The president is on Truth Social making his statements,” Baier said.

Even when some former Trump officials have agreed to testify, it has been telling what they are and aren’t willing to say under oath. Take former national security advisor Michael Flynn, for example. As shown in a deposition video Tuesday, he  pleaded the Fifth when asked if he believed in a peaceful transfer of power.

Much of the testimony received by the Jan. 6 committee has come from Republicans, many of them former Trump officials (and even family members). Retired federal judge Michael Luttig, a prominent conservative legal mind who Sen. Ted Cruz once said he would have nominated to the Supreme Court,  called Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election “the most reckless, insidious, and calamitous failures in both legal and political judgment in American history.”

Continued testimony, including Hutchinson’s, show this to be true. We hope the American people are paying attention.

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The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...