Washington has been consumed by speculation surrounding the the House January 6th committee hearings, after a surprise hearing this week featuring a former Trump administration aide who said that the former president knew attendees to his rally carried weapons and encouraged his supporters to go the Capitol anyway.
The aide, Cassiday Hutchinson, said the former president even tried to pry the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle from a secret service agent who was escorting him from the rally, demanding in vulgar terms that he be taken to the Capitol to be with his supporters.
“June of the year of 2022 will be remembered as the month that pretty much finished off Donald Trump,” Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AFG Investments told Bloomberg Monday. “It’s not just that he may get indicted. It’s not just that he has lost some altitude in the party. It’s is the mere fact that more and more of his own supporters are telling poll takers that one turn is enough, we’re really not excited about him running again.”
The January 6 hearings appear to have had some impact on betting markets estimates of the most likely winner of the 2024 election — up until earlier this month, Trump was seen as the favorite.
Betting site PredictIt gives the former president a 33% chance of clinching the 2024 Republican nomination, down from 38% before the hearings began. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is now seen as the favorite, with a 42% chance of winning the GOP nod.
Legal observers say there is a growing chance that Trump will face legal repercussions for his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 elections.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy, a Republican, wrote in the National Review that Hutchinson’s testimony could open the door to Trump being charged for aiding and abetting the forcible intimidation of government officials.
Hutchinson said that the president angrily insisted that the Secret Service remove metal detectors that were stationed to prevent weapons being brought to the speech, so that armed speech goers would not fear having them confiscated.
She also testified that White House Pat Cipollone requested that some lines from Trump’s exhorting his supporters to “fight” the election results, because he feared legal ramifications if the crowd were to get violent.
“Please make sure we don’t go to the Capitol, Cass,” Cipollone asked Hutchinson, according to the aide’s testimony. “We’re going to be accused of every crime imaginable.”
Federal investigators recently raided the home of former Justice Department environmental lawyer Jeffrey Clark after former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified that Clark lobbied president Trump to have him installed as attorney general so that he could prosecute an investigation into the election that several other top DOJ officials refused to conduct.
Meanwhile, a Fulton County, Georgia, investigation into the former president’s attempts to overturn election results in that state ongoing after the district attorney convened a grand jury earlier this year.