SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2022
Still hazy after all these years: No, it doesn't exactly matter. That said, just how old is Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Mark Meadows aide?
With respect to Hutchinson's credibility as a witness, it doesn't actually matter. Regarding somebody's journalism, it almost seems that it almost does.
One newspaper has to be wrong in what it's saying about the new arrival's age. It's always possible that neither newspaper really knows how old she is.
No, it doesn't actually matter. It does seem odd that, after almost a week, this initial stand-off remains.
Twenty-five v. 26? It doesn't actually matter. We'll note a different part of this episode which seems more striking to us.
As far as we know, Hutchinson has been completely honest in everything she has told the January 6 committee. That doesn't mean that her powers of perception and recollection are infallible. It doesn't mean that she is immune from other possible sources of error.
Obviously, one or more of her recollections might be imperfect, even wrong in some respect. It's also true that Hutchinson is a young person who few people previously knew—a witness without a track record.
Several major Trump aides who do know Hutchinson have vouched for her honesty. That includes Kayleigh McEnany, the former press secretary to Trump who was about as Trumpy along the way as being Trumpy gets.
Still, we've been surprised by the number of journalists who have treated Hutchinson's various statements as examples of established fact. Journalistically, a statement doesn't become a fact just because Hutchinson says it.
Journos have trusted new arrivals in the past only to see their statements and claims fall apart. We think, for example, of Kathleen Willey, but also of three or four young journalists who were just making [things] up.
We know of no reason to think that Hutchinson isn't a fully reliable witness. It's also true that a claim doesn't become a fact just because Hutchinson says it.
Even now, at the end of the week, our biggest newspapers can't even determine how old the new arrival is! It wouldn't be awful to add the following winged words—"According to Hutchinson's account"—to an array of press statements.
She seems to be offering her best recollections. Absent attempts at corroboration, such recollections aren't facts.