Former impeachment lawyer and White House ethics czar Norm Eisen explained that there's a battle of facts between former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Ornato.
Ornato previously served as a Secret Service Agent, but was appointed by Trump to serve in the White House and ultimately took a leave of absence from the agency. Ornato has not testified publicly before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress and the attempt to overthrow the election. Cassidy Hutchinson has testified for over 20 hours in addition to the four hours in a public hearing last week.
As Eisen explained, "to the extent this has turned into a swearing contest between Ornato and Cassidy Hutchinson, she didn't just provide 60 seconds in a yes or no about the details of Trump's anger wanting to march with that armed mob. Ornato has to answer all the questions and had a bird's eye view of what went on and we're rounding in as the hearings proceed to the hearing of these events. In the run-up, the funding and the organization of Jan. 6th, and what happened on Jan. 6th itself. Ornato has to answer all of those questions. That could be uncomfortable for him."
There have been questions about Ornato's credibility, as Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) tweeted on Thursday.
"'There seems to be a major thread here… Tony Ornato likes to lie," he explained.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) similarly explained to NBC News that Ornato "did not have as clear of memories from this period of time" as Hutchinson.
"We got a very important missing link from Cassidy Hutchinson and that is that President Trump knew the crowd was armed," Eisen closed. "He had reason to believe the danger that was going to occur and how he wanted to march with the crowd, how angry he was when he couldn't go and puts out his tweet attacking Pence when we know not only that he didn't want to take action but Ms. Hutchinson heard the conversation between the president's chief of staff, Mr. Cipollone, his White House counsel, that Trump agreed with the crowd that was intending harm towards his own vice president. That really creates the missing link of Trump wanting to see this violence occur and increases his criminal exposure."
It's still unknown if Ornato will be willing to testify publicly before the committee.
See the conversation below:
'A swearing contest' has broken out between Hutchinson and Trump's Secret Service guy: ethics czar youtu.be