A Washington, DC, police officer has corroborated to the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, details regarding a heated exchange former President Donald Trump had with his Secret Service detail when he was told he could not go to the US Capitol after his rally, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN.
The officer with the Metropolitan Police Department was in the motorcade with the Secret Service for Trump on January 6 and recounted what was seen to committee investigators, according to the source.
A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment. A spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to comment.
The description of the angry exchange between Trump and his Secret Service detail was a striking moment during the June testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Hutchinson said that she heard a secondhand account told to her by then-White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato that Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection that “he reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” and “then used his free hand to lunge towards” his Secret Service lead agent Robert Engel. Hutchinson testified that Ornato told her the story in front of Engel and he did not dispute the account.
Neither of the agents named in the testimony have commented publicly on Hutchinson’s testimony. But soon after it, a Secret Service official who would only speak on background, said Engel would deny parts of the story regarding Trump grabbing at the steering wheel and lunging toward an agent on his detail. The agency has said the agents involved would testify to that effect, though they have not yet gone back to the committee to testify.
The committee is also engaging with the driver who was in the presidential SUV regarding possible testimony, the source said. A lawyer for the driver did not respond to a request for comment.
CNN has previously reported that two Secret Service sources have said they heard about Trump angrily demanding to go to the Capitol and berating his detail when he didn’t get his way. The sources told CNN that stories circulated about the incident in the months after January 6 — including details that are similar to what Hutchinson described to the committee.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to clarify the type of vehicle in which the reported incident between Trump and his Secret Service detail took place.
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