A police officer from Washington DC has corroborated to the House select committee investigating the Jan 6 Capitol riot that Donald Trump had a heated exchange with his Secret Service detail after the former president was told he could not go to the Capitol.
The metropolitan police department officer was in a motorcade with the Secret Service on the day of the insurrection, sources told CNN.
The confirmation from the officer comes after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, in an explosive testimony, revealed she had heard a secondhand account of how Mr Trump was intent on following through with his pledge to accompany the rioters.
Recalling a conversation with Secret Service special agent Tony Ornato and Secret Service agent Robert Engel, Ms Hutchinson testified that Mr Trump, upon being informed that his bodyguards could not spirit him to the Capitol safely, became livid.
Mr Trump shouted at Mr Engel: “I’m the f****** president. Take me up to the Capitol now!”.
Ms Hutchinson said she was told that when Mr Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the 9,300 pound SUV, then “lunged” at Mr Engel’s throat after he was told he could not be taken to the Capitol.
Neither of the officials mentioned have since commented publicly on the testimony.
A Secret Service officer reportedly said Mr Engel would deny parts of the story, which includes Mr Trump grabbing at the steering wheel and lunging toward an agent.
Meanwhile, the investigating committee on Friday issued a subpoena to the Secret Service requesting records after they were accused of erasing texts from 5 and 6 January.
Bennie G Thompson, the chairman of the committee, in a letter transmitting notice of the subpoena, wrote that the panel sought relevant text messages and reports related to the attack.
“The Select Committee seeks the relevant text messages, as well as any after action reports that have been issued in any and all divisions of the USSS pertaining or relating in any way to the events of January 6, 2021,” Mr Thompson said in a written statement.
Committee member Jamie Raskin earlier told reporters that the panel was determined to retrieve the messages that were allegedly deleted.
Disputing the accusation, the Secret Service alleged some phone data was lost during a routine device migration, but that all of the requested texts had been saved.
The committee is also considering seeking interviews with Mr Trump and former vice president Mike Pence.
A Republican member of the panel revealed to The Wall Street Journal that the committee was considering if, and how, it could secure interviews from the former heads of state.
Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the Jan 6 panel, said during an interview that it could request a written interview with Mr Pence and is considering whether it would use a subpoena to compel his testimony.
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