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  • Reverend James Squire

Hearsay




We have heard the term, hearsay, used frequently most recently in response to part of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony in the January 6 Committee meeting. Hearsay is a legal ethics term “to report another person’s words by a witness” and is not considered as evidence in a court of law. It is usually used to bolster a witness’s testimony. In the case of Cassidy Hutchinson, the secret service agent that she quoted was what she heard him describe as Trump’s troubling behavior when Trump is forbidden to go to the capitol during the insurrection. However, hearsay is often submitted for consideration during a trial. The central problem with it is that the person who is referred to as saying or doing something is not in the courtroom and therefore cannot be cross examined.


Trump’s anger is based in the fact that he doesn’t have any of “his supporters” cross examining witnesses. It is important to note that most of the witnesses who have given testimony have voted for Trump or are Republicans. His concerns therefore have fallen on deaf ears. The Republican Party never thought the January 6 Commission’s work would be so thorough, well done, and impactful. The Committee rightfully refused to have Republicans on the Committee who had voted to overturn the election. They would have been a hindrance to seeking the truth. McCarthy failed to submit other names which has been the source of part of Trump’s wrath.


Even with threats from Trump backers, Cassidy Hutchinson indicated that she stood by her testimony even as others tried to generalize that because one aspect may be false that would evaluate her whole testimony.


Both written documents as well as oral statements can be regarded as hearsay. Right now, one of Trump’s lawyers has indicated that he wrote a note about Trump, but Ms. Hutchinson indicated that she wrote the note in question.


One of the exceptions to hearsay was prevalent in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial. You can make useful statements that provide a context for the facts that you will be presenting. This was certainly true in Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony as she described that Trump’s lawyer made sure that she should keep him from going to the capitol because “we would be guilty of every crime imaginable.” Trump’s state of mind could vividly be seen and confirmed regarding Hutchinson’s testimony about ketchup dripping down the walls of the dining area cited as an example for his deranged actions. He attempted to grab the steering wheel of his secret service vehicle and that he attempted to strangle the driver.


Trump’s allies use the word, hearsay, as though the mission of the January 6 Committee was to prosecute Trump. That is not their mission. They were simply but profoundly describing the origin of the Insurrection and the facts of what happened that day. The Justice Department will determine what is admissible and what is not. One of the key issues in this evidence gathered by the Commission is the “historic question” in gathering facts and hearsay. Could people imagine based on Trump’s past behavior support Ms. Hutchinson’s statements? Everyone including his allies have to answer “yes” because of his past unhinged behavior with examples too numerous to list including his history of lying.


I thought that it was brilliant that the January 6 Commission started the recent testimony by demonstrating with a model of how close together everyone was in the West Wing. You could see this first hand by watching the TV show, “The West Wing.” This was to stop Trump in his tracks regarding his useful lie of “I never knew this person.” He would pass her desk each day.


Trump’s use of hearsay is one of the ways that he has avoided accountability over all of these years and all his immoral behavior. When pictured with Jeffrey Epstein, he simply said, “I haven’t seen him in years.” He uses hearsay to make points that people can’t call him on like a mafia godfather. If you live by the sword of lies, you will die with the sword of lies.”

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