Analysis: Another American woman just stood up to protect democracy from Trump
Jun 29, 2022 2 mins, 20 secs
A young ex-West Wing aide, a Capitol Hill police officer, two former Georgia election workers and a Republican scion who chose truth over her party are writing their names in history as they star in the House select committee's probe into the January 6 insurrection and lay bare the ex-President's thuggery.

In the latest show of bravery that has emerged as a rare bright light in a 2020 election tale of violence, lies and deception, Cassidy Hutchinson, a 26-year-old former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, on Tuesday delivered some of the most disturbing testimony yet about Trump's unhinged behavior 17 months ago.

She said she had been told that the ex-President had lunged for his top Secret Service agent when the agent refused to have Trump driven to the Capitol riot scene, thought then-Vice President Mike Pence deserved to be hanged, said he knew his insurrectionists were armed but wanted them to march on Congress anyway and, in a separate incident in December 2020, left a White House wall dripping in ketchup after furiously flinging his lunch plate.

(After the testimony, a Secret Service official familiar with the matter told CNN that Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, denies telling Hutchinson that the former President had grabbed the wheel or an agent on his detail.)

Braving reprisals from Trump world -- amid new allegations that the ex-President's acolytes have intimidated witnesses -- Hutchinson's appearance contrasted with cronies who closed ranks to protect their old boss or Republicans who privately disdain him but stay quiet to save their political skins.

And her willingness to go before millions of worldwide viewers to tell the truth contrasted with Trump's cowardice in failing to admit that he lost a fair election.

Compelling testimony

Hutchinson joined a group of female witnesses who have delivered the bulk of the most compelling testimony in the committee's televised hearings, often at risk to their own safety and hopes of returning to normal life or careers.

They have debunked propaganda that January 6, 2021, was just a tourist day out, peeled the curtain back on Trump's conspiracy to steal the election, described the price of his victimization of those who stood in his way, and detailed the ravings of a President who lost his grip on reality on one of America's most painful days.

Capitol Hill Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was knocked unconscious by Trump's rioters on January 6, described chilling scenes of hand-to-hand combat with Trump's gang and how she had slipped on the blood flowing underfoot.

In one of the most poignant moments of the hearings so far, mother-and-daughter election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea "Shaye" Moss told how Trump's searing personal attacks and false claims that they were fixing vote counts in Georgia had ruined their lives and left them scared of going out.

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