Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a debilitating disease that disconnects the afflicted from reality. Although most are either born with or have developed a natural immunity to this sickness, there are still those who attempt to spread the infection.
It now appears that Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the Trump administration, has come down with an acute case of TDS. The only cure might just be some time in jail.
Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a handwritten note at Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing that Hutchinson testified she wrote after Mark 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?” Rep. Liz Cheney then asked.
“That’s my handwriting,” Hutchinson answered.
A spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News on Tuesday evening, “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,” the representative said.
Hmmm. Who to believe?
Hutchinson also testified that Tony Ornato, former Trump Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, told her that former President Donald Trump repeatedly demanded that the Secret Service take him to the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to FOX News.
Hutchinson also said that Ornato told her that Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent and tried to grab the wheel of the presidential SUV.
Ornato, on the other hand, says he did not brief Hutchinson. A source close to Ornato told Fox News that Ornato watched the hearing and was distraught when Hutchinson made the allegation about the steering wheel. To top it off, Ornato wasn’t even in the presidential SUV when the alleged incident was supposed to have happened.
Both Bobby Engel, the top agent on Trump’s Secret Service detail — who was in the SUV — and Ornato testified to the Jan. 6 Committee in private over the past year, according to Fox.
Neither Engel nor Ornato brought up anything about a steering wheel. Both are willing to testify that Trump did not grab or try to grab the wheel. The unnamed driver of the SUV will also cooperate with the committee if asked.
Judging by the Jan. 6 Committee’s refusal to have witnesses cross-examined by reputable Republicans like Jim Jordan and Jim Banks — who were not allowed on the committee — it’s doubtful that Ornato and others who dispute Hutchinson’s claims will be called by the committee. It wouldn’t suit their tendentious tactics.
It’s also doubtful that Hutchinson will be charged with lying to Congress under oath. Her testimony is, at best, hearsay. She claims that she was relating what she had heard from someone else. In other words, she didn’t actually witness anything at all.
Nevertheless, U.S. Code sections 1621 of Title 18 stipulate 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.
Why would Hutchinson lie and in doing so risk jail time? Who knows? TDS comes with strange symptoms.
Take Liz Cheney for example. She recently reached out to Democratic voters in Wyoming asking them to register as Republicans to vote for her in the upcoming primary election. Surely some Dems in Wyoming have TDS, but not enough to stop Republican Harriet Hageman from handily winning the election.
Why would Cheney bother with such a futile move? It’s embarrassing.
Why would the Jan. 6 Committee commit to humiliating itself time and again on national television? Due process has been blatantly thrown out the door. Propping up young witnesses like Cassidy Hutchinson to be chopped down by the facts and witnesses waiting just outside the committee doors disintegrates any inkling of legitimacy the committee crazily believes they possess.
TDS can’t run its course soon enough. Some, like Liz Cheney and Adam Schiff, will probably never recover from it. But they, too, must pass. It’s actually sad to watch.
It’s almost as if the Jan. 6 Committee is chock-full of masochists.
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