OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as the vice-chair of the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee, and her star witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, are facing serious questions following testimony last week.
Hutchinson, a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified before the committee during a special hearing on Tuesday and many of her allegations against former President Donald Trump have been refuted as being outright lies.
A new report reveals that Hutchinson went into hiding with her family and a security detail after her testimony almost two weeks ago, The New York Times reported.
The Times report described Hutchinson as “unemployed and sequestered with family and a security detail.”
At the hearing, Cheney displayed a handwritten note that Hutchinson testified she wrote after Meadows handed her a note card and pen to take his dictation, according to ABC News.
Eric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, claims the note was written by him.
Hutchinson, testifying about the note, said, “That’s a note that I wrote at the direction of the chief of staff on Jan. 6, likely around 3 o’clock.”
“And it’s written on the chief of staff note card, but that’s your handwriting, Ms. Hutchinson?” Cheney then asked.
“That’s my handwriting,” Hutchinson answered.
A spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News, “The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on Jan. 6, 2021. All sources with direct knowledge and law enforcement have and will confirm that it was written by Mr. Herschmann.”
It’s doubtful that Hutchinson will be charged with lying to Congress under oath.
Nevertheless, U.S. Code sections 1621 of Title 18 stipulates that anyone who “willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true” is guilty of perjury and shall be fined or imprisoned up to five years, or both.
Section 1001 stipulated that “whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of the United States, knowingly and willfully” falsifies or conceals information before a congressional committee may be fined or imprisoned up to five years.
After Hutchinson’s testimony, many of her salacious claims were rebuffed by those with the knowledge of what actually happened.
Much of Hutchinson’s testimony was hearsay and second-hand information that she heard from someone else but did not witness herself.
One of the most spectacular parts of her testimony came when she accused Trump of grabbing for the steering wheel of the presidential limo after being told that he could not go to the Capitol on January 6, 2020, and then grabbing for the throat of Secret Service agent Bobby Engel.
But within hours of her testimony, Engel said that the incident she spoke of never happened.
Engel, the agent who was driving the presidential SUV, and Trump security official Tony Ornato both disputed Hutchin’s allegations and said they would testify under oath that no agent was assaulted and Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.
A third official, former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, disputed Hutchinson’s claim that she wrote a note for Trump to read on January 6.
Herschmann said the note was written by him, not Hutchinson.
BREAKING: Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann says that it is not true that Cassidy Hutchinson wrote the handwritten note that she testified on Tuesday that she wrote. He says it's not true because he was the one who wrote the note. https://t.co/jBBtnOwzTn
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 29, 2022
🚨 A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) June 28, 2022
— Betsy Woodruff Swan (@woodruffbets) June 29, 2022
For her part, Cheney is standing by Hutchinson despite almost all of her allegations being rebuked and disputed.
Cheney told ABC’s “This Week” host Jonathan Karl that she is “absolutely confident” in Hutchinson’s testimony.
“She’s an incredibly brave young woman,” Cheney continued. “The committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege.”
For her part, Cheney is about to pay the price for her anti-Trump given crusade given a poll found that she’s down a whopping 30 points in her re-election bid in Wyoming against Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman.