Top Jan. 6 witness Hutchinson: Trump should be nowhere near Oval Office again
Cassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 Committee. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP

NEW YORK—Former Republican White House denizen Donald Trump is so dangerous to democracy that he “should be nowhere near the Oval Office again,” says Cassidy Hutchinson, the former top Trump insider turned top Jan. 6 committee witness.

In an extended interview on MSNBC, Hutchinson, top aide to Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said it’s because Trump “cares more about authoritarian rule than he does about the rule of law. He doesn’t care about preserving our Constitution. He cares about leveraging it for his own power and his own gain.

“If he is elected again I don’t think we’ll be voting under the same Constitution that we would be if Joe Biden is elected in 2024.

“If we look at this next election and want our country to survive, we have to think about who has the character, integrity, and grit to carry our country through this troubled time–and that person isn’t Donald Trump.

“We’re fighting for our democracy in 2024, where one of the candidates is going to sustain our democracy and the other is going to let it die.”

Hutchinson has rejoined a small field of other Republicans, led by former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who have recently spoken out about the menace of a second Trump term. Cheney was the House Jan. 6 committee’s co-chair.

Both Hutchinson and Cheney have been disappointed by their former colleagues’ fealty to Trump, with Cheney adding Republicans have a particular duty to speak up because their party created the menace to democracy.

“We, Democrats, independents and Republicans, have to work together [and] vote together to ensure Donald Trump is not the lesser of two evils,” she told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “He is a completely unfit man for office and he has already shown us what he can do. He can never be near the Oval Office again.

Can’t count on them

“We cannot count on a majority of Republicans to do the right thing,” she warned.

Trump himself telegraphed his plans. Thrown a softball question by a notorious right-wing Fox host, virtually inviting him to say he would not become a dictator, Trump didn’t take it.

Followed by frenzied yowls from a pro-Trump studio mob, Trump declared he “would be a dictator—on the first day.”

The response from Cheney, Hutchinson, and MSNBC interviewer Jen Psaki, once White House press secretary under Biden, can be summarized as “believe him and not just for the first day.”

Trump and his staffers have also telegraphed their authoritarian plans in other ways, both in written plans being prepared for a new Trump regime and in statements by prospective top staffers.

“He will take those people who were the most radical, the most dangerous, and put them in positions of supreme power,” Cheney warns. She particularly cites the case of former Gen. Mike Flynn, who publicly proposed sending troops to key states after the 2020 balloting “to rerun the election.”

Another top Trumpite declared that when he becomes a top Cabinet official, he’ll use the power Trump gives him to declare war on “enemies in the media,” mount a frontal attack on constitutional rights, and “root out” tens of thousands of top career federal workers, replacing them with Trump denizens, under a special civil service Schedule F which basically reinstates the spoils system.

Trump tried that in the waning days of his prior term. Biden immediately bounced it.  But what the top Trumpite didn’t say is that Trump had not only planned to dismantle worker protections in the public sector but the private sector, too.

And a historical warning of what Trump is like came the month before, in a brief interview, also on MSNBC, with Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D-Ill., after Trump labeled his opponents “vermin.”

Pritzker, one of three Jewish-American governors, compared Trump’s plans to Hitler’s actions, though he didn’t use the German Nazi’s name:

“In Germany in the 30s, people that they [the Nazis] didn’t want to have power, people they wanted to separate and segregate, they began calling them immigrants—even people who had been in Germany for generations. Jews who were doctors, lawyers, in government at the time, became known as immigrants. This is a way to segregate people, and then dehumanize them—and then they did in fact dehumanize them, and then kill them.

“I don’t know where this going with Donald Trump, but to those of us who know the history of Europe,” such as himself, “I’m deeply concerned about his predilection for revenge.”

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Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Award-winning journalist Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of the union news service Press Associates Inc. (PAI). Known for his reporting skills, sharp wit, and voluminous knowledge of history, Mark is a compassionate interviewer but tough when going after big corporations and their billionaire owners.