The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 is opening a window into former President Donald Trump’s car on the day of the attack on the US Capitol, interviewing the Secret Service agent who was in the car on Friday, Jan. 6, and scheduling testimony from Trump’s presidential driver. the vehicle as soon as next week, multiple sources told CNN.
Friday’s interview, which has not been announced in advance, is the fourth in five days with Secret Service agents and officials as the panel continues to expand its focus on the agency.
Clips of the interviews underscore the committee’s interest in what happened after Trump left the Ellipse rally on Jan. 6, 2021, and headed to the White House. Several witnesses earlier told the committee that Trump angrily demanded to go to the Capitol, but the Secret Service detail refused to take him.
The names of the agent in the motorcade testifying Friday and the driver of Trump’s SUV behind the motorcade have not been released publicly.
CNN previously reported that the committee wanted to speak to at least half a dozen Secret Service witnesses. Earlier this week, the panel interviewed former Vice President Mike Pence’s former chief of security detail, Tim Giebels, former Secret Service agent John Gutsmiedl and agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
CNN has reached out to the Secret Service for comment. The Select Committee of the Chamber did not want to give an opinion.
The commission has been investigating Trump’s behavior in his presidential SUV on the day of the Capitol attack for months.
Former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson testified publicly that on June 28, former Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato, who was in the car with Trump, told her that Trump became so angry that he reached into the front of the vehicle to grab the steering wheel. wheel with one hand and swung at Robert Engel, his Secret Service agent that day, with the other.
“The president reached towards the front of the vehicle to take the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, “Sir; you have to take your hand off the steering wheel. We will return to the west wing. We will not go to the Capitol.’ Mr. Trump used his free hand to reach out to Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified.
Hutchinson said Ornato told him that Trump was “angry” in his White House office that day that Engel was there. He said Engel “did not correct or disagree with any part of the story.”
Both Ornato, who briefly left the agency to serve as Trump’s deputy chief of staff, and Engel met with the committee before Hutchinson’s testimony. The committee said they want to hear both again.
Ornato’s lawyer, Kate Driscoll, told CNN last week: “Mr. Ornato continues to cooperate with the commission in the investigation.”
The committee has not interviewed the driver of Trump’s presidential vehicle.
CNN previously reported that a Washington DC police officer confirmed to the committee details of Trump’s exchange with his Secret Service detail when he was told he could not go to the US Capitol after his rally. The Metropolitan Police Department officer was in a motorcade with the Secret Service for Trump on Jan. 6, according to the source.
The committee may also question Secret Service witnesses about efforts to determine whether it was feasible to bring Trump to the Capitol.
Guglielmi told CNN in June that after Trump asked his supporters to go to the Capitol with him during his Jan. 6 speech, the agency asked the Metropolitan Police Department to find out if the freeway route would be possible, to no avail.
“Secret Service personnel assigned to the president’s detail told administration officials that proposed travel plans to visit the Capitol on January 6 would not be feasible,” Guglielmi said.