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Title: Secret Service Driver's Account of Jan. 6 Just Demolished What Anti-Trump Forces Say Happened in Armored Vehicle
Source: [None]
URL Source: https://www.westernjournal.com/secr ... am&utm_content=western-journal
Published: Mar 12, 2024
Author: C. Douglas Golden
Post Date: 2024-03-12 19:21:43 by BTP Holdings
Keywords: None
Views: 36

Secret Service Driver's Account of Jan. 6 Just Demolished What Anti- Trump Forces Say Happened in Armored Vehicle

By C. Douglas Golden

March 12, 2024 at 4:20am

Will anyone willing to back up Cassidy Hutchinson’s version of events please stand up?

Hutchinson, in case you’ve forgotten, is the former aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows who was a surprise witness before the House Democrats’ Jan. 6 kangaroo committee.

In her testimony, she insisted she had heard from someone else at the White House that on Jan. 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump had tried to grab the wheel of his limousine to go to the Capitol during the incursion.

Hutchinson recounted an exchange she had with Anthony M. Ornator, then the deputy White House chief of staff, in Ornato’s office. She said Secret Service agent Robert Engel , the head of Trump’s security detail, was present and looking “somewhat discombobulated.”

“I looked at Tony,” Hutchinson testified in June 2022 under questioning by then-Rep. Liz Cheney, the anti-Trump Wyoming Republican. “And he had said, ‘Did you effing hear what happened in the Beast [the presidential limousine]?’ I said, ‘No, Tony, I just got back. What happened?’”

Hutchinson claimed Ornato told her that Trump had lunged for the wheel of the presidential limo and demanded to be taken to the Capitol.

“The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing, we’re not going to the Capitol,’” she said of Ornato’s account, according to The New York Times. “Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel.

As the Times noted in the Monday article, “Republicans have faulted the panel’s decision to promote [Hutchinson’s] account of Mr. Trump’s behavior in the vehicle.”

Maybe that’s because no one’s backing up Hutchinson’s account, including a newly released transcript of an interview with the driver of the presidential limo.

“The president was insistent on going to the Capitol,” testified the Secret Service driver, whose name was not released. However, Engel made it plain to Trump that, given no plan for his security was in place, that was impossible.

“It was clear to me he wanted to go to the Capitol. He was not screaming at Mr. Engel,” the driver said.

“He was not screaming at me. Certainly, his voice was raised, but it did not seem to me that he was irate — certainly not, certainly didn’t seem as irritated or agitated as he had on the way to the Ellipse,” the driver added.

As for the alleged lunge for the steering wheel? Yeah, that didn’t happen, said the driver — who was in a position to know about a thing like that.

“The transcript of the driver is the first extensive eyewitness account of what happened in the armored vehicle to be made public,” the Times noted.

And that account is damning for Hutchinson’s story.

“I did not see him reach,” the Secret Service driver told investigators, according to the Times.

“He never grabbed the steering wheel. I didn’t see him, you know, lunge to try to get into the front seat at all,” he added. “You know, what stood out was the irritation in his voice, more than his physical presence.”

In other words, the worst that could be said is that then-President Trump sounded annoyed to the driver. Well, that’s a mortal sin for a U.S. head of state, right?

Oh, that’s right. After experiencing President Joe Biden screaming through our collective TVs in last week’s State of the Union address, I’m not particularly sure why the Times wants to make much of a president and “the irritation in his voice.” But the NYT’s gonna NYT, I suppose.

The Times headline for Monday’s story is: “Testimony Fleshes Out Account of Trump’s Demand to Go to Capitol on Jan. 6.”

That’s a pretty understated way of saying a key narrative of anti-Trump forces — Democrats and turncoat Republicans like Liz Cheney — had just been demolished.

(The summary headline is a little more informative: “But a newly released transcript of an interview of the Secret Service agent who drove Donald Trump’s vehicle that day disputes that he tried to grab the steering wheel or lunged at another agent.”)

As for why we haven’t heard about this transcript until now when Hutchinson testified in June of 2022, the Department of Homeland Security said it hadn’t released them because the Jan. 6 committee had “requested that the department review the transcripts for sensitive information that should be protected from disclosure so that the remainder could become ‘part of the historical record,'” the Times reported.

“More than a year after the driver was interviewed in November 2022, the agency was still reviewing the transcripts,” the general counsel for the DHS said in a letter to congressional Republicans this February, according to the Times. “He said the agency determined it could release redacted versions of six interviews, including the driver’s, to Republicans who are investigating the committee’s work while looking for irregularities or signs of bias.”

Which, well, they’ve certainly found one huge irregularity.

“This firsthand testimony directly contradicts Cassidy Hutchinson’s story and the former J6 select committee’s narrative,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican who has been investigating the prior work of the committee. “Although the select committee had this critical information, they still promoted Ms. Hutchinson’s thirdhand version of events in their final report.”

Of course, we could have known this at the time it happened. The day that she testified, NBC News’ Peter Alexander reported that both Engel and the driver were willing to testify that her version of events was inaccurate.

So essentially, we had the media reporting that Secret Service members were willing to under oath to shoot this story down … and it still made its way into the committee’s version of events surrounding the Capitol incursion.

This was a rigged process from the start, one that filtered through testimony to cherry-pick exactly what Democrats wanted to hear and present it to the American people in the most febrile terms possible.

We’re only hearing about it years after it’s mostly faded from the headlines, in addition. It’s only made available to us when it’s old news, even though it should have given reporters pause before credulously asserting that the president of the United States could grab the wheel of his own limo to try to get to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, based on one surprise witness testifying what she heard third-hand.

This is something that should have been made clear from the get-go. Instead, in March 2024, we’re quietly hearing it. What else about Jan. 6, pray tell, will drop discreetly in the weeks and months to come?


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