Jan. 6 committee to interview former Trump Secret Service agent Tony Ornato

Donald Trump, Tony Ornato
FILE – Members of the Secret Service, including Tony Ornato, right, stand guard as then-President Donald Trump, left, speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington before departing, Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Andrew Harnik/AP

Jan. 6 committee to interview former Trump Secret Service agent Tony Ornato

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Tony Ornato, the former White House deputy chief of staff for operations and top Secret Service official, is expected to meet with the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Ornato became known as the Secret Service agent that White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson cited during her blockbuster testimony describing President Donald Trump‘s alleged physical altercation with his driver on January 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol riot. His testimony on Tuesday will mark the first time he has spoken to the committee since Hutchinson’s testimony in June, according to the New York Times.

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Hutchinson claimed in her testimony that she had been told by Ornato that Trump was “irate” after being told he could not join his supporters protesting at the Capitol, and attempted to grab the steering wheel of the SUV and lunged at Bobby Engel, who was the head of Trump’s Secret Service detail. Hutchinson clarified that she was not in the SUV at the time this happened, only that she heard this story from Ornato.

Ornato is to testify behind closed doors on Tuesday. It is possible that he could deny Hutchinson’s claim that Trump lunged at the wheel, according to sources.

Trump has denied Hutchinson’s testimony, writing on Truth Social that it was a “fake story.”

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Ornato has reportedly testified to the Jan. 6 committee a couple of times ahead of Tuesday, including offering details about what was known of former Vice President Mike Pence’s whereabouts during the Capitol riot. He retired from the agency in good standing back in August.

Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was seen at the Capitol on Monday to meet with the Jan. 6 committee. Conway and Ornato’s appearances before the committee come as the panel tries to finish its investigation and produce a final report before losing control of the House in January.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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