According to one of his former top lieutenants, the several bombshells revealed at Tuesday's unexpected House committee hearing investigating the January 6 Capitol brawl were highly harmful to former President Donald Trump.
White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was the principal assistant to ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows from mid-2020 to the end of Mr. Trump's term in January 2021, told the select committee that Mr. Trump and his aides were aware that attendees at the rally he held just before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol were carrying weapons, including Glock semi-automatic pistols and AR-15-style rifles, but they did not care.
She added that Mr. Trump ordered that Secret Service officers remove magnetometers installed for his protection so that armed rallygoers could be closer to the platform where he was scheduled to speak before the march on the Capitol.
Mr. Meadows's predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, was among the millions of Americans who observed Tuesday's session.
The former South Carolina congressman, Mr. Trump appointed as his "acting" chief of staff following General John Kelly's dismissal in January 2019, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Ms. Hutchinson's testimony.
They were not complimentary of his former supervisor.
Approximately forty minutes into the hearing, Mr. Mulvaney, now a paid political analyst for CBS News, tweeted that he understood why the panel had arranged the meeting on such short notice, even though Congress was on its usual Independence Day recess.
"There is a significant issue if the president knew the protestors were armed and still urged them to go to the Capitol. Things have become much more intriguing," he added, noting that Mr. Meadows "was scared to tell the president something he didn't want to hear."
Ms. Hutchinson told the committee that the head of Mr. Trump's Secret Service detail, Robert Engel, and his then-deputy chief of staff, Tony Ornato, said to her that Mr. Trump had a physical altercation with Mr. Engle and a Secret Service driver after being told he could not join his riotous supporters at the Capitol.
After hearing her account, Mr. Mulvaney noted that Mr. Ornato, Mr. Engel, and Mr. Meadows would all testify before the committee concluded its work, even though all but Mr. Meadows had already given depositions to the committee.
Since then, sources close to the Secret Service have denied that the altercation Ms. Hutchinson claimed she was informed about ever occurred.
Numerous right-wing media icons began branding her a liar on various social media platforms.
But Mr. Mulvaney wrote in her defense, "This is explosive material."
"If Cassidy is inventing this, they will have to say so. If she is not, they must corroborate," he said, adding, "I know her. I don't believe that she is lying."
Later, Mr. Mulvaney returned to Twitter to comment on Liz Cheney's concluding statement as vice-chair of the panel.
Ms. Cheney stated that the panel has evidence of conversations with witnesses from those in Mr. Trump's orbit, which could be witness tampering or obstruction of justice.
Her old colleague described her conclusion as "stunning" and noted that the proverb "always the cover up, never the crime" applies to Mr. Trump's predicament.
"Today was a disaster for the former president. "I believe it will only get worse from here on out," he remarked.
Later, he summarized the presentation of evidence and termed Tuesday's procedure "a remarkable two hours."
Trump was aware that protesters were armed, and he attacked his security personnel. There may be a connection between Proud Boys and the White House. Top aides requested pardons, and the commission believes it has evidence of witness manipulation," he stated.
This is a truly terrible day for Trump.