House committee investigating Jan. 6 announced on Thursday that it had questioned several witnesses who corroborated former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s June 28 explosive testimony.
Hutchinson told the group that she was informed of a collision between then-President Trump and a Secret Service agent in a car following his January incident. February 6, 2021, rally on the Ellipse near the White House. According to her, the president allegedly rushed to the helm and attacked the agent after his squad refused to take him to the Capitol with his supporters.
Witnesses did not corroborate elements of her testimony that were disputed by the Secret Service, but did confirm that there was a heated argument over where the president was being taken.
“Despite the fact that he understood that many of his supporters were armed, the president was still adamant about heading to the Capitol when he stepped off the stage at the Ellipse, but his Secret Service personnel were equally determined not to let him go,” the spokesman said. Elaine Luria (Virginia) said. “This led to a heated argument with the unit that delayed the motorcade’s departure to the White House.”
Luria noted that the commission has “evidence from multiple sources regarding the angry exchange in the presidential SUV, including the testimony of two witnesses that we will release today, which confirmed that there was a confrontation.”
She described the first witness as “a former White House national security official” who spoke to Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Ornato and top Trump Secret Service agent Robert Engel.
“This employee told us that Mr. Ornato said the president was “angry” when Mr. Engel refused to take him to the Capitol,” Luria said. “Mr. Engel did not refute what Mr. said Ornato.”
The second witness was a retired sergeant. Mark Robinson of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, who was seconded to Trump’s motorcade on Jan. 1. 6, and got into the lead car with a Secret Service agent, also known as a “TS agent”.
Robinson said he was told that “the president was upset, … adamant about going to the Capitol” and “there was a heated discussion about it.” He said the term “warming up” was used by a TS agent who described the incident to him.
Luria said the commission is also aware of reports detailing the presidential SUV incident that are “widely” circulating among Secret Service agents. The committee subpoenaed the Secret Service, and Luria admitted that “some Secret Service witnesses have now hired a new private attorney.”
“We expect further affidavits and other new information in the coming weeks,” Luria said.