Although the committee’s work is likely ending with this Congress, when at least two of its members will leave Congressional service altogether, the House panel investigating the Capitol riot is continuing its work.
Now, CNN reports that the committee is in the process of hearing from multiple Secret Service agents who were in the then-president’s motorcade on January 6 or could know something about it. At issue (among other things) is the period after Donald left the outdoor rally that day where he spoke to supporters about his election lies. According to available accounts, Trump pushed for heading to the Capitol after the event, no matter the deteriorating security situation. Then-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson eventually told the House panel she was informed shortly thereafter of an incident in which Trump got into a brief physical altercation with an agent on his Secret Service team, physically lashing out as the security agent pushed for his return to the White House — not a Capitol trip. Besides the salacious nature of allegations about Trump physically confronting a Secret Service agent, details of what happened could also be useful for establishing Trump’s mindset.
In other words, if he was trying to join the crowd of his supporters on the streets of D.C., that suggests even more of an intent to obstruct the Congressional proceedings certifying the presidential election outcome scheduled for that day. On Friday, the riot panel heard from “the Secret Service agent who was in the lead car on January 6” (as CNN described them), and going forward, the driver in Trump’s vehicle — which was right behind the lead car — should be testifying “as soon as next week,” CNN adds, recapping the state of the riot committee’s scheduling. Prior to the interview with the agent serving near Trump in the motorcade, the committee heard at least three other times in the last week from Secret Service personnel, including Tim Giebels, who worked on Pence’s detail, ex-agent John Gutsmiedl, and spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. The identities of Trump’s driver and the Secret Service agent from the lead car aren’t public as of this juncture.
CNN “previously reported that a Washington, DC, police officer has corroborated to the committee details regarding a heated exchange Trump had with his Secret Service detail when he was told he could not go to the US Capitol after his rally,” as the publication summarizes, although the nature of that corroboration wasn’t fully explained in the report. The officer who provided that testimony was also in Trump’s motorcade that day. Hutchinson, who worked in the White House with then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, provided other critical information to the riot committee, including details of discussions with then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone about fears of criminal charges if Trump actually went to the Capitol, which was under discussion inside the Trump team before January 6. Among Cipollone’s concerns was obstruction. The House panel will eventually be releasing a final report from its investigation, with copies of witness testimony.