America needs the truth.
Following testimony Cassidy Hutchinson, an assistant to Trump-era chief of staff Mark Meadows, gave to the Jan. 6 Select Committee, questions have been raised about what two Secret Service agents — Bobby Engel and Tony Ornato — said when they testified before the panel.
According to a report by NBC News, Engel, former President Donald Trump’s head of security detail, and Ornato, a Secret Service agent who served as the White House deputy chief of staff operations, had already spoken to the panel. However, their names reemerged when Hutchinson relayed an incident Ornato revealed to her following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
During Tuesday’s (June 28) last-minute hearing, Hutchinson revealed Ornato told her that after Trump was told they couldn’t go to the Capitol, he grabbed at the steering and, with his free hand, lunged toward Engel.
Hutchinson also recalled that when Ornato was recounting the story, Engel, who was in the room, didn’t dispute the retelling of events.
Yet, despite reporting that both men had been interviewed, neither testimony was presented when Hutchinson made her claims.
This led to a volley of questions about whether Hutchinson’s recollection had happened or whether Trump’s reaction, calling it a “fake story,” was to be believed.
Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey was one of the first to question why Secret Service testimony wasn’t used to back up Hutchinson’s claims.
Dawsey tweeted, “Here’s the thing. The committee has Secret Serice testimony that would seemingly corroborate or dispute what Cassidy Hutchinson said today, but it wasn’t played. Unclear why.”
Peter Alexander, a reporter for NBC News, citing a source close to the Secret Service, tweeted that Engel and the driver of the SUV driving Trump back to the White House were willing to testify that “neither was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.”
Also citing an unnamed Secret Service official, Shimon Prokupecz of CNN, tweeted that Ornato “denies telling Cassidy Hutchinson that the former president grabbed the steering wheel or an agent on his detail.”
As more questions were raised, the Secret Service released a statement on Tuesday, reiterating the agency’s commitment to cooperate with the Select Committee and “responding on the record to the Committee regarding the new allegations surfaced in today’s testimony.”