Members of the Jan. 6 committee heard from Robert Engel, the agent former President Donald Trump was accused of lunging at on the day of the Capitol riot during a heated motorcade encounter, according to a new report.
Over the summer, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson publicly testified before the panel about an account she heard of an enraged Trump lunging at Engel and seeking to take control of the president’s armored vehicle, known as “The Beast,” after being told he could not head to the Capitol shortly before the ransacking took place. Engel has submitted to interviews with the committee, CNN reported.
“The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol.’ Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified.
Engel was Trump’s lead agent on his motorcade detail at the time. Hutchinson, an aide for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified she heard the account from then-deputy White House chief of staff Tony Ornato and that Engel was in the room and did not dispute the account.
Shortly after her stunning testimony, reports surfaced that both Ornato and Engel were willing to go under oath to counter her fiery claims. Critics of the panel seized on the apparent rebuttal to chastise the committee.
Both men gave testimony to the panel before Hutchinson’s public appearance, reports said.
Last month, the committee held its likely last public hearing, and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) divulged that the panel was “potential obstruction” pertaining to the Secret Service and had plans to call back witnesses as it combed through a tranche of communications from the agency.
Hutchinson has since stood by her account.
The committee is expected to dissolve following the Republican takeover of Congress. The panel had subpoenaed Trump for testimony and documents, but he has defied the demand and filed a court challenge.
The Washington Examiner reached out to a committee spokesperson for comment.