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First on CNN: The Jan. 6 committee is working on Secret Service interviews

First on CNN: The Jan. 6 committee is working on Secret Service interviews


Washington
CNN

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is finalizing its review. Over a million pages of Secret Service documents and plans to subpoena top agency agents and officials to testify in the coming weeks, multiple sources told CNN.

Sources said the extended list, which includes about a dozen witnesses, indicates the committee is still seeking answers from the agency on several fronts, including what it learned about him. pre-attack threatsWhat did former President Donald Trump know about? armed protests A visit to the Capitol and how it responded to the testimony The scandal surrounding Trump’s security department that day.

In it The final hearing recommended by the committee Some of the new internal Secret Service memos show agents were alerted to potential violence on Jan. 6, including threats against then-Vice President Mike Pence. A trove of Secret Service documents was subpoenaed by the committee after the agency went public. deleted text messages from the date of the attack.

The committee has previously said it intends to call two key witnesses, former Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato, who left the agency to serve briefly as Trump’s deputy chief of staff, and Robert Roberts, Trump’s top Secret Service agent on the day of the attack. Engel. Both met with the committee.

Other witnesses being considered include sources:

  • Kimberly CheatleOn January 6, the current Director of the Secret Service, who served as Assistant Director of Defense Operations, made him the top agent responsible for protecting key government officials that day.
  • Anthony Guglielmi, the current head of communications. Appointed in March 2022, Guglielmi was not with the agency at the time of the attack on the Capitol but oversaw the agency’s response to key events in the committee’s investigation, including how the Secret Service responded to the testimony of former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. On January 6, a heated argument broke out between Trump and his agents in his presidential SUV.
  • Timothy Giebelsformer Vice President Mike Pence’s head detailed.
  • Driver The name of former President Donald Trump’s January 6 motorcade has never been released.

Until recently, Ornato’s attorney, Kate Driscoll, told CNN that the committee had not requested additional testimony from her client since his last appearance in March. On Thursday, Driscoll said, “Mr. Ornato continues to cooperate with the committee in its investigation.”

Reached by phone, Giebels told CNN that the committee has not yet reached out.

A Secret Service spokesman declined to comment, including on which of its employees might be called to testify before the committee

The committee declined to comment.

The committee still wants more information about whether the Secret Service knew about the threats to Pence and lawmakers before the attack, the sources said.

At the Oct. 13 hearing, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said the Secret Service received warnings about online threats Ahead of the Capitol uprising against Pence, including that Pence “will be a dead man if he doesn’t do the right thing.”

A source familiar with the matter told CNN that Pence and his team were never told about the threats and only learned about them when they were made public during a hearing this month. A Secret Service spokesman also declined to comment on whether Pence had received information about the threats.

On January 6, one Secret Service agent said at 12:36 p.m., according to a memo revealed at a recent committee hearing, “Many weapons have been recovered so far; How many do you think are unknown? Maybe sporty after dark.”

Another agent replied a few minutes later: “No doubt. People on the Ellipse said they would move to the Capitol after POTUS’ speech.”

There are also questions about what Trump knew about the armed men in the crowd ahead of his speech on the morning of January 6. Through radio traffic, internal agency communications, and witness testimony, the committee determined that Secret Service agents knew people in the crowd. Trump’s speech was armed. One witness, former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson He testified in public on June 28 Trump was upset that armed men were not allowed through metal detectors to attend his speech.

Hutchinson said he heard Trump say, “I don’t care if they have guns.” They didn’t come to hurt me. Remove the effing. Let my people come in”

Another incident the committee is investigating is Trump’s behavior in his presidential SUV on the day of the attack, when he was told he could not go to the Capitol after his speech.

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, members of the U.S. Secret Service's Counterattack Team walk through the Rotunda as they and other federal police forces responded as protesters loyal to then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Hutchinson said Ornato told him Trump was so angry that he yelled at one of his members, “I’m the current president.” Take me to the Capitol now.’

Hutchinson’s testimony about Ornato’s description of the scandal was given under oath at the committee’s June 28 public hearing and was a milestone in the Jan. 6 timeline of Trump’s moves. Both Ornato and Engel met with the committee before Hutchinson’s testimony.

Neither Ornato nor Engel denied Hutchinson’s testimony on the record. A Secret Service official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, previously told CNN that Ornato denies telling Hutchinson that the former president grabbed the wheel of his presidential SUV or an agent on his detail.

Ornato was interviewed at least twice – in January and March – as part of the investigation. Ornato’s attorney told CNN that he is willing to cooperate with the investigation, but has not been asked to testify again since his appearance in March.

The driver of Trump’s presidential SUV, who was a key witness to the incident, was never subpoenaed before the committee, sources told CNN. Sources tell CNN the commission learned about the driver through Hutchinson’s testimony.

At the July 21 hearing, Hutchinson’s testimony was partially corroborated by retired DC Police Department Sergeant Mark Robinson, who was assigned to Trump’s motorcade that day and was in the lead car with the Secret Service agent in charge of the motorcade. Transport Department Agent.

Robinson told the committee that a transportation department agent told him “the president was upset and didn’t want to go to the Capitol, and there was a heated discussion about that.”

Also at that hearing, the committee introduced a former undercover White House official in charge of national security, who said Ornato also told that witness about Trump’s angry behavior. The anonymous person told the committee at an Oct. 13 hearing that Trump’s SUV rampage was so public that it became a “water cooler conversation.”

In addition, the panel raised a specific point of concern regarding potential witness tampering.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said at an Oct. 13 committee hearing: “The committee is reviewing testimony regarding potential obstruction on this issue, including testimony advising the committee not to speak on this particular topic. We will consider this issue in our report.”

Committee member Adam Kinzinger told CNN in September that panel members believe Ornato was personally involved in efforts to discredit Hutchinson’s testimony while he was still at the agency, and unnamed Secret Service officials and others took his side of the story.

“I think the quote, through anonymous sources, we believe is actually Tony Ornato himself, who is contradicting Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, saying it’s just not true, and Tony is testifying under oath,” he told CNN. “Then, of course, he didn’t come to take the oath.”

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