J6 Committee Didn’t Reach Out To Secret Service

REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The U.S. Secret Service is claiming the Jan. 6 committee didn’t contact them before airing testimony from a former White House aide that alleged former President Donald Trump physically attacked his limo driver, according to Politico.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified Tuesday that Trump became “irate” when he was told he could not go to the Capitol so he “lunge[d]” toward the head of his security detail. Her claims have since been refuted, according to several reports.

U.S. Secret Service Chief of Communications Anthony Guglielmi said the committee did not ask Secret Service personnel to reappear or testify in the 10 days leading up to Hutchinson’s hearing on the topic regarding the same matter, according to Politico.

“We were not asked to reappear before the Committee in response to yesterday’s new information and we plan on formally responding on the record,” Guglielmi said in an email to Politico. “We have and will continue to make any member of the Secret Service available.”

Hutchinson’s lawyer, Jody Hunt, defended Hutchinson’s allegations. (RELATED: Dem Rep Claims Without Evidence Trump Planned Jan. 6 In 2016)

“Ms. Hutchinson testified, under oath, and recounted what she was told,” Hunt tweeted. “Those with knowledge of the episode also should testify under oath.”

Hutchinson testified she spoke with the deputy chief of staff for operations, Tony Ornato, in a meeting that U.S. Secret Service special agent Robert Engel was present for. Hutchinson claims Ornato told her that Trump became “irate” when told he could not go to the Capitol to be with protesters. Hutchinson claims Ornato told her that when Trump’s request was denied, he reached for the steering wheel, forcing Engel to grab the president and restrain him.

Sources close to the Secret Service have denied Hutchinson’s claims and said both Engel and the driver are prepared to testify that Trump never tried to attack either man nor did he reach for the steering wheel, according to several reports. CNN’s Gabby Orr tweeted Tuesday night that Ornato denied “that he told Cassidy Hutchinson Trump grabbed the steering wheel.”

Hutchinson also claimed a handwritten letter used as evidence by Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was written by her. But former lawyer Eric Herschmann alleges he is the one who wrote the letter, according to ABC News which cited sources familiar with the matter.