Cassidy Hutchinson: Boss Burned So Many Docs, His Office Was Smoky

Ex-aide's new book alleges Meadows' suits smelled 'like a bonfire'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2023 2:30 AM CDT
Ex-Aide: Mark Meadows Burned So Many Docs, His Suits Smelled
Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, June 28, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

A former aide in former President Trump's White House says chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers so often after the 2020 election that it left his office smoky and even prompted his wife to complain that his suits smelled "like a bonfire." Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a prominent congressional witness against Trump before the House Jan. 6 committee, described the burning papers in a new book set to be released Tuesday. The AP obtained a copy of the book, Enough. Hutchinson had previously testified to the House panel that she had seen Meadows burning documents in his office about a dozen times.

Hutchinson was a White House staffer in her 20s who worked for Meadows and testified for two hours on national television about the White House's inner workings leading up to and including the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol. Trump and Meadows tried to challenge the former president's election loss in several states. Both are under indictment in Georgia for what prosecutors have called an illegal conspiracy to overturn the results. In her book, Hutchinson writes that starting in mid-December, Meadows wanted a fire burning in his office every morning. She says that when she would enter his office to bring him lunch or a package, she "would sometimes find him leaning over the fire, feeding papers into it, watching to make sure they burned."

Hutchinson said she did not know what papers he was burning but said it raised alarms because federal law regarding presidential records requires staff to keep original documents and send them to the National Archives. She said one day when Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California came to meet with Meadows, the congressman asked Hutchinson to open the windows in Meadows' office because it was smoky. She said she warned Meadows he would set off a smoke alarm. Later, in the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, when Trump's staffers began packing to move out of the White House, Hutchinson said Meadows' wife arrived to help and asked the aide to stop lighting the fireplace for Meadows because "all of his suits smell like a bonfire" and she could not keep up with the dry cleaning. (Rudy Giuliani responded to another Hutchinson allegation.)

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