Cassidy Hutchinson, Maxwell Sentence, and an iPhone Anniversary Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, June 29, and we're covering the next in the series of public hearings on the events of Jan. 6, a prison sentence for Ghislaine Maxwell, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Jan. 6 Hearings (Part Six)

The House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the storming of the US Capitol last Jan. 6 held its sixth public hearing yesterday, focusing on testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. The Democrat-led panel had been abruptly scheduled, with the committee giving just 24 hours' notice.


Hutchinson, the first former staff member from the Trump White House to publicly testify as part of the probe, worked as a special assistant to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from March 2020 to January 2021. Among key exchanges, Hutchinson—who was present backstage during that morning's scheduled speech by former President Donald Trump—claimed the president was aware a number of attendees in the crowd were armed.


Separately, she also relayed an incident in which the former president believed he would be transported to the Capitol, but was ultimately prevented by the Secret Service. See more details from the hearing here.


The panel is expected to resume hearings after the Fourth of July holiday.

Migrant Trailer Tragedy

At least 51 people have died after being found inside or near an abandoned tractor-trailer outside San Antonio, Texas. Officials say the group had no access to water or air conditioning inside the trailer and more than a dozen people, including four children, were being treated for heat-related illnesses. San Antonio is experiencing its warmest June on record, with temperatures reaching 101 degrees Monday.


Initial reports say the semitrailer likely entered the country at Laredo, Texas, in an effort to smuggle people into the US from Mexico. Among the group, 27 were confirmed from Mexico, three from Guatemala, and four from Honduras.


The incident marks one of the worst human smuggling tragedies in recent US history. US Border Patrol reported 557 deaths, the majority heat-related, near the southern border in the 2021 fiscal year. 


The deaths came as the US notched a record number of migrant encounters in May, reaching almost 240,000 (see data).

Maxwell Sentenced 

Ghislaine Maxwell, the confidante of deceased sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking-related charges and five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay a $750K fine. Maxwell, 60, plans to appeal her conviction. 


The British socialite was convicted in December of five of six counts, including transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts and two counts of conspiracy. Federal prosecutors had asked for at least a 30-year sentence for Maxwell's role in effectively managing a sex ring for Epstein between 1994 and 2004 and recruiting underaged girls to be made available for the former financier's associates. Maxwell was sentenced on only three counts after the judge ruled two were repetitive. 


The sentencing comes nearly two years after Maxwell's arrest for conspiring with Epstein, who died by suicide in his prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial (see timeline).

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Motion Picture Academy invites 397 new members including Billie Eilish and Anya Taylor-Joy; 44% of invitees are women and 37% are nonwhite (More)


> Senate Judiciary Committee looking into legality of Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption (More)


> Philippine government orders Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa's news company Rappler to be shut down (More) | Hollywood talent agency CAA acquires rival ICM Partners in landmark $750M deal (More)

Science & Technology

> Google makes its Google Earth Engine, which tracks the Earth's surface via continuously updated satellite data streams, available to businesses and governments (More)


> Scientists sampling melting Tibetan glaciers discover nearly 1,000 species of bacteria trapped in ice, almost all of which were previously unknown (More)


> NASA successfully launches CAPSTONE CubeSat, a microwave-sized space probe, en route to the moon's orbit; experiment is a precursor to the Gateway mission, which aims to create a permanent orbiting lunar space station (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -2.0%, Dow -1.6%, Nasdaq -3.0%) as US consumer confidence index falls for a second consecutive month (More)


> Ernst & Young agrees to pay $100M Securities and Exchange Commission fine after some auditors cheated on ethics exams, the largest fine imposed on an audit firm (More)


> Pinterest shares up 4% in after-hours trading after announcing CEO is stepping down from post, to be replaced by former president of Google’s commerce business (More)

From our partners: Reward seeker? Keep reading. This cash back card offers 2% cash rewards on purchases and a generous sign-up bonus. The Ascent's independent team of experts is calling it one of the best all-around cards. Learn more today.

Politics & World Affairs

> New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) after he resigned in August amid sexual assault allegations, wins Democratic primary (More) | See primary results in all seven states, including Illinois and Oklahoma (More


> Michigan Supreme Court unanimously overturns the state's use of a one-judge grand jury to indict former Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and others in a criminal case over Flint's lead-polluted water (More) | The Flint water crisis explained (More)


> Turkey agrees to lift objections to Sweden's and Finland's NATO membership as alliance members gather for a summit in Madrid (More) | At least 51 inmates have died after a fire broke out during a prison riot in Tulua, Colombia (More)



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Clickbait: A good way to end a bad day.


Historybook: Original Globe Theatre burns to the ground (1613); HBD NBA star Kawhi Leonard (1991); US Space Shuttle docks with Russian space station for first time (1995); RIP Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn (2003); Apple releases first iPhone (2007).


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything."

- Katharine Hepburn

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