(Video: NBC News)
Jeh Johnson, a lawyer who was the Homeland Security secretary in the Obama administration, has expressed doubts about the way the partisan January 6 committee presented the “vivid” testimony of ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
To much corporate media fanfare, Hutchinson luridly claimed that President Trump had attempted to grab the steering wheel from the driver as Secret Service escorted him from the January 6, 2021, rally back to the White House, and that he lunged at an agent.
During the standard anti-Trump roundtable on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Johnson — who is otherwise a big fan of the investigation into what he described as an event that met the definition of “insurrection” — implied that the committee itself may have metaphorically lunged.
“I’m concerned as the former federal prosecutor in me — that gets you a lot of cred these days on television — I’m concerned that the committee may have overreached on the incident in the vehicle,” he said in the video clip embedded above.
“It was colorful; it was vivid, it was collateral to the central charge, and it was second-hand hearsay,” he added, in that Hutchinson did not personally witness the things she told the committee.
History has shown that many of these “bombshells” that make Trump look bad often fall apart within the next news cycle or two, although the reputational damage is often already done.
Hearsay evidence is usually excluded from any court trial, which in this instance, is probably a major disappointment for Rep. Liz Cheney and others participating in this politicized vendetta who are anxious to set the stage for criminal charges against the former POTUS.
On Truth Social and in media interviews, Trump has forcefully described the tawdry tale as fake, and the Secret Service has also reportedly denied that anything like that happened.
Trump's side of the story: Fmr. president has plenty to say about 'witness'Cassidy Hutchinson via @BIZPACReview – https://t.co/BL5M1Uy0jv
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) June 29, 2022
“The committee perhaps knows something that the rest of us don’t know. But before I went out with the second-hand hearsay, which is going to get a lot of attention, I’d want to know what the first-hand witness has to say,” Johnson continued.
In a moment of clarity, host Chuck Todd conceded that it was technically “a third-hand account.”
In an attorney-like response, Johnson noted that “It depends on how you interpret hearsay. But, you know, that testimony would not have been admissible in a courtroom. And as you know, Secret Service agents don’t normally talk about what they see, what they hear from their protectees. I was a protectee of the Secret Service for three years. And they have to be in a position to hear and see all kinds of very sensitive things.”
In an interesting and perhaps unintentionally revealing choice of words, Johnson praised the J6 committee hearings as being “choreographed exceptionally well for the attention span of the average American in 2022.”
He also deemed Hutchinson, Cheney, and another woman as “profiles in courage” while “a lot of men are hiding under their desk in lawyers’ offices.”
In a text message earlier this year, Hutchinson herself, however, allegedly described the J6 committee as “BS.”
Cassidy Hutchinson’s text messages reveal how she really felt about Jan 6 committee ‘BS’ https://t.co/K0ipcdgm5Q pic.twitter.com/SyDZq2ekQJ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 4, 2022
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