Cassidy Hutchinson, the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, was the recipient of one of the messages the House Jan. 6 committee unveiled this week as evidence of possible witness intimidation, two sources with knowledge told NBC News.
Hutchinson, who delivered explosive public testimony on Tuesday about Meadows and former President Donald Trump, was one of the witnesses committee vice-chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said had been contacted ahead of questioning in an apparent attempt to influence her testimony, the sources said.
“[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition,” the message said. The message was displayed during Tuesday's hearing, but Cheney did not say who had sent it or who had received it, or who the person the message was referring to.
A source familiar with Hutchinson's deposition said the unnamed individual referred to as "a person" in the message was Meadows, Hutchinson's old boss. The revelations about Hutchinson and the identity of the unnamed person were first reported by Politico.
A spokesperson for Meadows said the former congressman, who's snubbed a subpoena to sit for an interview with the committee, denied meddling in Hutchinson’s testimony. “No one from Meadows’ camp, himself or otherwise, has ever attempted to intimidate or shape Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony to the committee,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment.
In testimony on Tuesday, Hutchinson described several dramatic moments she said occurred around Jan. 6 — including an allegation that Trump got into a physical altercation with a Secret Service officer in an attempt to join supporters at the Capitol.
She also portrayed Meadows as disengaged during the Jan. 6 riot — even when White House counsel Pat Cipollone was urging him to speak to Trump after finding out some in the crowd were chanting "Hang Mike Pence." "You heard him [Trump], Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong," she quoted Meadows as saying.
The message to Hutchinson was one of two Cheney referred to during the hearing. The other referred to a phone call that a Jan. 6 witness described to the committee. “What they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World," the person recalled.
Cheney said the panel found out about the messages because they routinely ask witnesses whether they have been contacted by any former Trump administration or campaign officials “who attempted to influence or impact their testimony.”
“Most people know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns," Cheney said toward the end of the hearing. "We will be discussing these issues as a committee and carefully considering our next steps.”