Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson alleges that, shortly before a mob of Donald Trump‘s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in what would become a deadly scene on Jan. 6., 2021, the president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani groped her beneath her skirt while claiming the administration would find a way to stay in power.
Hutchinson — a loyal staffer in the Trump administration who at 23 was handpicked to serve as White House chief of staff Mark Meadows‘ right hand — made headlines in June 2022, when she stood before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and testified about shocking behavior she witnessed in the White House.
In the book, The Guardian reported, Hutchinson writes that she saw Giuliani on Jan. 6 standing in the back of a tent with another Trump attorney, John Eastman.
“The corners of his mouth split into a Cheshire cat smile. Waving a stack of documents, he moves towards me, like a wolf closing in on its prey,” Hutchinson writes of Giuliani, saying that he claimed he was holding evidence that Trump won the election.
She continues: “Rudy wraps one arm around my body, closing the space that was separating us. I feel his stack of documents press into the small of my back. I lower my eyes and watch his free hand reach for the hem of my blazer.”
“‘By the way,’ he says, fingering the fabric, ‘I’m loving this leather jacket on you.’ His hand slips under my blazer, then my skirt,” Hutchinson alleges. “I feel his frozen fingers trail up my thigh. He tilts his chin up. The whites of his eyes look jaundiced. My eyes dart to John Eastman, who flashes a leering grin.”
“I fight against the tension in my muscles and recoil from Rudy’s grip … filled with rage, I storm through the tent, on yet another quest for Mark,” the excerpt concludes.
When asked to comment on the allegations against Giuliani, his political adviser Ted Goodman told PEOPLE: “It’s fair to ask Cassidy Hutchinson why she is just now coming out with these allegations from two and a half years ago, as part of the marketing campaign for her upcoming book release.” (A request for comment from Eastman’s chief counsel had not been returned by the time of publishing.)
Giuliani is currently embroiled in a lawsuit from a former staffer who claims he forced her to have oral sex and intercourse and is also one of 19 people recently charged in a sprawling, 98-page indictment from Georgia prosecutors that detailed an alleged attempt to undermine the will of American voters. He has been charged with 13 felony counts in that case, including racketeering (violating the Georgia RICO Act) and false statements and writings.
Giuliani also faces disbarment for his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Addressing her book on the whole in recent conversation with PEOPLE, Hutchinson says she isn’t scared to hold Trump and his allies accountable — even if they push back against the allegations.
“I don’t fear what people will say and the attacks that will arise coming out of it,” she tells PEOPLE. “I stand by everything I testified to, and I stand by everything that’s in the book.”
She continues: “And if somebody wants to attack the way that they come off in the book, I’m not going to hold myself responsible for what they may say about the way that they’re framed, because I’m holding them accountable to their own actions.”
Hutchinson’s 2022 testimony made her a polarizing public figure overnight, particularly as she shared colorful details about life in the White House, and alleged that Trump physically assaulted a Secret Service officer and flew into fits of rage during which he would throw plates of food at the wall.
Speaking to PEOPLE, Hutchinson — who is a Republican — now reveals that she battled internally with whether to defend the administration for which she’d worked so closely, or to follow her conscience.
“I knew from the moment that I decided that I wanted and needed to come forward with the information that I had, that it would take a toll on my career,” she says in the exclusive interview. “But it was a small price to pay in exchange for living the rest of my life in this aura of dishonesty and inauthenticity.”