A Washington D.C. police officer has reportedly confirmed bombshell reports that former President Trump got into a physical altercation with Secret Service agents on Jan. 6 as he sought to go to the Capitol to lead the violent insurrection by his supporters.
The cop who was in the Trump motorcade has given his own account to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, CNN reported.
The police account broadly corroborates the shocking story told by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who testified under oath that fellow aides told her Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol and got physical with Secret Service agents when they refused his request.
The committee also hopes to talk to the driver of the limo who would be another key witness to the stunning episode, the network said.
The officials in question, lead agent Richard Engels and then-Deputy White House Chief of Staff Tony Ornato, shared details of the incident just minutes after it happened, Hutchinson testified.
But the Secret Service later asserted that they were prepared to deny that account under oath. They have not yet done so and it’s not clear if they ever will do so, giving the committee little reason to doubt Hutchinson’s story, especially as other witnesses back it up.
Meanwhile, a shocking new report says the Secret Service accidentally deleted text messages from Jan. 6 after a Department of Homeland Services watchdog asked it to preserve all records.
The DHS inspector general met Friday to discuss the missing messages, which some critics say could be a sign of a cover up, CNN reported.
The Secret Service claims it unintentionally deleted the messages, which could obviously shed light on Trump’s role in the insurrection, as part of a routine “device replacement” exercise, The Intercept first reported.
The deleted messages could potentially have shed light on the Trump hissy fit incident as well as other crucial elements of the story of Jan. 6 such as former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to get into a Secret Service vehicle as the riot unfolded for fear of being driven away from the Capitol.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said the committee plans in coming days to discuss whether to ask Pence or even Trump to testify, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Panel leaders had previously said they would eventually want to hear from Pence, who is a central figure in Trump’s effort to stay in office after losing the 2020 election illegally.
They appeared to have dropped that idea in the face of his opposition to talking and the cooperation offered by his top aides. But some members want to hear from him directly, especially about Trump’s effort to bully him into joining the scheme to overturn the election results.