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The Jan. 6 committee did not publicly discuss any action to verify or back up what former Trump administration aide Cassidy Hutchinson made during a hearing last week.
Hutchinson, who worked closely with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, detailed some of the key facts through video and live testimony during the hearing. The most explosive is former President Donald Trump, annoyed that the United States Secret Service (USSS) did not bring him to the Capitol, allegedly tried to grab the steering wheel of the president’s car and lunge at an agent.
Hutchinson is describing what she said as a version of events that former Deputy Chief of Operations Tony Ornato told her after the January 6 incident. Hutchinson said Ornato told her That incident occurred after Trump left his rally on the Ellipse and demanded to be taken to the Capitol, where Congress is certifying the results of the presidential election.
“The president put his hand on the front of the car to grab the steering wheel. [Secret Service agent Bobby] Engel grabbed his arm, saying, ‘Sir, you need to get your hands off the wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol,” Hutchinson said, quoting Ornato. Then Trump used his other hand to lunge at Bobby Engel. When Mr. Ornato recounted this story to me, he gestured toward his collarbone. ”
On Tuesday, January 6, the Committee did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital asking if it had attempted to speak with Ornato or Engel. since the hearing. It also did not respond to questions about whether it contacted the Secret Service to verify the allegations, if there could be further subpoenas related to Hutchinson’s claims, or if it made any any other action to verify what she said.
USSS Spokesperson Anthony Gugliemi said the agency did not have any information to share when asked if the committee would take further steps to verify Hutchinson’s claims.
A source close to Ornato told Fox News that Ornato was shocked when Hutchinson made the allegation about the steering wheel. That source said both Ornato and Engel would be willing to testify before the committee to refute Hutchinson’s part of the story. USSS spokesman Gugliemi also confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday that the committee had not contacted them in the days leading up to the hearing to verify Hutchinson’s claims.
In the days since Hutchinson’s testimony was initially disputed, several members of the committee have spoken out publicly and sided with Hutchinson. They also said they would be happy to hear of anyone disputing Hutchinson’s oath. But there was no detailed attempt by the committee to verify parts of her disputed testimony.
Representative Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that anyone who wants to contest Hutchinson’s testimony should not do so through the media and should include a name. their comments in their comments.
“Well, there’s information that I can’t say yet, but we will definitely say that Cassidy Hutchinson was sworn in. We find her trustworthy and anyone who wants to disparage about it who is present in person. should come and also be sworn in. and not through anonymous sources, the citation is not cited, and is unlikely to be an anonymous source,” Kinzinger said.
“Well, I wouldn’t say what we do or don’t have in terms of endorsements,” he told CNN. “But let me say this. What she said was what she heard.”
Kinzinger added that no one disputed some of the other parts of Hutchinson’s testimony, including that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on January 6 or that he knew many of his supporters were armed. He also said people can expect the committee to release more information in the future. However, he did not mention whether the committee is currently taking any steps to examine what Hutchinson said about Trump allegedly running into a Secret Service agent or grabbing the wheel of his car. he.
Separately, Kinzinger has Also comments are marked from former Trump White House officials about Ornato’s alleged dishonesty. “There seems to be a major theme here… Tony Ornato loves to lie,” Kinzinger tweeted.
Representatives Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. And Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., made similar remarks to Kinzinger during their Sunday show appearance.
“The committee will not stand by as her character is assassinated by anonymous sources and by men demanding executive privileges. And so, we look forward to seeing additional testimony on a series of problems,” said Cheney. ABC.
Cheney was pressed by ABC about whether the committee had more evidence to corroborate what Hutchinson said. Cheney said there was evidence of Trump’s “violent anger” when he was told he could not come to the Capitol and had to back to the White House. But she did not cite any further evidence of the dashing and steering wheel incident being disputed.
“We always expected Trumpworld to try to discredit her, and they didn’t let us down in that respect,” Lofgren said of Hutchinson on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
But asked about the steps it was taking to corroborate what she said, Lofgren said the committee had spoken to Ornato before, saying the committee would welcome him back if he wanted to testify more. and said Ornato is “part of Trumpworld.”
Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was asked on CBS when the committee – which interviewed Ornato and Engel – first heard the story of Trump trying to grab the wheel in his car. Schiff said he would not discuss the details of past testimony, said the committee would welcome those men to testify again, and also pointed out other parts of Hutchinson’s testimony were not denied. argumentative.
Hutchinson is also standing by her testimony, in statements made through her attorney.
Lakia Atkins, Andres Del Aguila, David Spunt and Meghan Tome of Fox News contributed to this report.