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Head of Trump Jan. 6 Secret Service detail meets with Jan. 6 committee

The Secret Service agent in charge of former president Donald Trump’s security detail on Jan. 6, 2021, met Thursday with investigators from the House Select Committee probing the incident, which could provide valuable testimony into the happenings inside the presidential limo that day. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
The Secret Service agent in charge of former president Donald Trump’s security detail on Jan. 6, 2021, met Thursday with investigators from the House Select Committee probing the incident, which could provide valuable testimony into the happenings inside the presidential limo that day. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The Secret Service agent in charge of former president Donald Trump's security detail on Jan. 6, 2021, met Thursday with investigators from the House select committee probing the incident.

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., confirmed the appearance while speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, but did not elaborate on the extent of the conversation.

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CNN was the first to report Bobby Engel's appearance.

Engel could provide the committee with key testimony about the happenings inside the presidential limousine, known as "the Beast" on the day of the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In June, Cassidy Hutchinson -- a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows -- testified that Trump demanded to go to the Capitol after his speech that day.

She then detailed how she'd heard from Engel and Secret Service official Tony Ornato that Trump lunged at the vehicle's steering wheel, trying to take control.

Engel's testimony on Thursday could help lend clarity to that narrative.

In her testimony, Hutchinson detailed Trump's anger in the moments after his speech as his supporters then marched on the Capitol.

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She said she learned what happened inside the presidential limo from Ornato. Engel was also involved in the conversation and had been in the vehicle with Trump.

"Tony proceeded to tell me that when the president got in the Beast, he was under the impression from Mr. Meadows that the off-the-record movement to the Capitol was still possible and likely to happen, but Bobby [Engel] had more information," Hutchinson said.

She said Engel told Trump they couldn't take him to the Capitol because it wasn't safe, and that the former president responded angrily.

"Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and 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.' Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornato recounted this story to me, he motioned toward his clavicles," Hutchinson testified.

Engel and Ornato both spoke to investigators before Hutchinson's testimony in the summer. Thursday marked Engel's first appearance in front of the Committee since that time.

Ornato briefly left the agency to serve as Trump's deputy chief of staff, later returning to serve as a Secret Service Assistant Director. He retired in August after his name surfaced in testimony.

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