The establishment media treated the testimony Tuesday of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson at the January 6 Committee as if it were damning for Trump — before her claims began to fall apart.
The fact that Hutchinson was seen actually hugging members of the January 6 Committee, as if they were partners in some joint enterprise rather than investigators seeking the truth, ought to have raised red flags — but did not, until it was too late.
The Los Angeles Times, among others — including Fox News — set aside the basic rules of journalism, accepting as fact the sudden claims made by a witness whose testimony was based entirely on hearsay and who was never subject to cross-examination.
The Times published a list of what it called eight “bombshells” — some of which were soon debunked, some of which remain dubious, and some of which were just a repetition of things that were already common knowledge or that other witnesses had already told the investigation.
Several Trump aides knew the risk of violence before Jan. 6 — As did the president himself, which is why he approved the use of the National Guard to secure the Capitol beforehand, though Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declined.
Trump knew Jan. 6 rally attendees had weapons — the “weapons” in question were not AR-15 rifles, as the committee implied Tuesday, but rather a variety of implements — flagpoles, shields, pepper spray — that anyone could see on television.
White House counsel raised concerns about Trump speech — This was already known from prior testimony, though in a general sense it is completely unremarkable: the job of legal counsel is to raise concerns about almost every speech.
Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6 — The Times admits that Trump already said himself that he wanted to lead protesters in a (peaceful) march to the Capitol, though former chief of staff Mark Meadows said that was just metaphorical.
Trump lunged for limousine steering wheel to go to Capitol — This accusation was specifically refuted by the two witnesses whom Hutchinson cited on Tuesday, and the Secret Service itself has said it is prepared to deny this unlikely claim.
Trump didn’t want to take action to stop the riot on Jan. 6 — Trump’s reluctance to act, and his delays once it became clear that rioters were inside the Capitol has been the subject of criticism since January 6, 2021. It is not new information.
Trump threw his lunch at wall after reading William Barr story — This claim is one of several Hutchinson made based on hearsay alone. It might qualify as newsworthy, if there were any corroborating evidence or testimony, which there is not.
Trump and Meadows wanted to include pardon language in Jan. 7 speech — If true, it would be unremarkable: given the overzealous investigation of anyone linked to Trump, it would be reasonable for even innocent people to seek pardons.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.