December 29, 2022
Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson revealed that Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, burned documents in his fireplace roughly a dozen times in the final weeks of the Administration, according to newly released transcripts of her House January 6 select committee depositions, reports The Hill.
FHutchinson, who became a star witness during the panel’s public hearings, told the committee on May 17 that she saw Meadows burn documents once they lit his office fireplace in December 2020.
“The Presidential Records Act only asks that you keep the original copy of a document. So, yes,” Hutchinson said when asked if she saw Meadows use the fireplace to burn documents, adding, “However, I don’t know if they were the first or original copies of anything,” she continued. “It’s entirely possible that he had put things in his fireplace that he also would have put into a burn bag that there were duplicates of or that there was an electronic copy of.”
Politico and The New York Times had previously reported on the testimony. “I want to say once a week or twice—it’s —I can recall specific times that I did,” Hutchinson said. “Maybe a dozen, maybe just over a dozen, but this is over a period December through mid-January too, which is when we started lighting the fireplace.”
Hutchinson suggested that at least two of the occasions took place after Meadows met with Representative Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) about election issues.
The House committee has said Perry was “directly involved” in efforts to make Jeffrey Clark the attorney general in order to create a Justice Department aligned with former President Trump’s unfounded claims of mass electoral fraud.
“I know maybe three or four times—between two and four times, he had Mr. Perry in his office right before,” Hutchinson told the committee, although she cautioned that she did not know what documents were burned.
The Hill has reached out to an attorney for Meadows for comment.
Research contact: @thehill