Surprise Mystery J6 Hearing Today! 1 pm EST!

Also, today there are primaries in Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah. See Steve Benen for analysis. Getting Illinois over with will be a particular relief for me, I must say. The television ads for the Republican candidates have been disturbing.

Politico is reporting that the mystery witness is Cassidy Hutchinson, a onetime top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. She knows a lot about what was going on in the White House before, during, and after January 6. This could be juicy.

Politico also says that “Hutchinson replaced her attorney earlier this month as the select committee’s hearings began; her former attorney was the Trump White House’s chief ethics lawyer, and her new attorney is a longtime ally of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

As ever, this is an open thread for commenting before, during and after the hearing.

See Trump reporters react to January 6 hearings. Your brain will hurt.

Update: Well, that was fun. But I want to know if we can make Trump pay for all the White House dishes he smashed while throwing temper tantrums.

We learned that Trump supporters attending the January 6 rally at the Ellipse came heavily armed. “Trump supporters gathering at the Ellipse for the president’s speech had been seen by law enforcement and Secret Service agents carrying guns, including AR-15s and Glocks,” it says here.

But Trump was upset because he wanted more people crammed into the Ellipse — better optics! — and apparently people were hesitating to go through the metal detectors. Understandably.

Trump was described by Hutchinson as similarly unworried about his supporters carrying firearms; he was mostly angry that magnetometers used to screen rallygoers were blocking some of his armed supporters from getting inside the rally grounds. And that would hurt Trump’s larger aim: creating a photo op of a very large crowd gathered to hear him speak.

So, it says here, Hutchinson testified that Trump said something to the effect of, “‘I don’t fucking care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the fucking [magnometers] away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.”

So he was okay with armed people marching on the Capitol. They weren’t going to hurt him, after all.

Trump also apparently did intend to go to the Capitol and presumably show up in the room where the Electoral College votes were being tallied. He was advised this would break several laws, but he didn’t care. He ordered the presidential limo to be driven to the Capitol, and when he was refused he started to tussle with the driver and with a Secret Service agent.

I personally am sorry they didn’t let him go. Imagine how much trouble he would have gotten himself into.

Can Secret Service agents be forced to testify? Clinton’s was.

Mark Meadows (and Rudy Giuliani) asked for a presidential pardon. Mark Meadows is not looking good right now.

Liz Cheney produced evidence of attempts at witness tampering of the January 6 committee witnesses.

I think those were the highlights.