Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a member of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, told CNN on Sunday the panel will ask former Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato to testify again.
“We’re in a position in the very near future to call the witnesses from the Secret Service back in for a few additional questions,” the California Democrat told CNN’s Pamela Brown on “CNN Newsroom,” explaining that the panel had wanted to “get through all the documentary evidence … over a million documents,” which they’ve now done.
The House select committee has made clear it believes Ornato was a central figure who could provide valuable information about former President Donald Trump’s movements and intentions leading up to and on January 6.
Not only did Ornato once run Trump’s detail, but he also made the unprecedented move of joining White House staff as the deputy chief of staff in December 2019 on a temporary assignment and eventually returned to the Secret Service to run its training program.
To this point, Ornato has met with the panel on two occasions – in January and March – as part of its investigation.
It’s not clear whether Ornato will end up testifying related to the claims from Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Hutchinson specifically testified that Ornato had told her about Trump lashing out in anger and lunging at a member of his protective detail as he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6.
Lofgren said Sunday she could not expand further on Rep. Pete Aguilar’s comments during Thursday’s public hearing that the committee is examining a potential attempt to obstruct testimony related to that incident.
“It’s not just about the incident, but the testimony – and I will say, we have, broadly, questions about the advice given to some witnesses, and whether all the witnesses were completely candid with the committee, and that’s something that we’re interested in, and I think the Department of Justice will be very interested in,” Lofgren said.
Asked Sunday who else from the Secret Service would be called back to testify, Lofgren also mentioned the head of Trump’s Secret Service detail, Robert Engel, “and a few others,” but did not specify whom.
“We want to make sure that we’re getting the straight story. Some of the testimony received doesn’t seem to align with some of the documents, so we have a need to understand that better from them,” she said.
This story has been updated with additional information Sunday.