The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has interviewed the driver of Donald Trump‘s presidential vehicle, presumably a Secret Service agent who was present when the then-president allegedly lunged at the steering wheel after the agent refused to take him to the Capitol.
During his speech on January 6, 2021, barely hours before they attacked, Trump had directed his supporters to march “to the Capitol,” promising, “and I’ll be there with you.”
Trump reportedly knew some of his supporters were armed.
According to a top aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump was desperate to be taken to the Capitol, but citing security reasons the driver refused.
“I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now,” Cassidy Hutchinson, Meadow’s aide, testified she was told Trump had said, during a public televised hearing of the Select Committee in June.
“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.’ Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards [Secret Service agent] Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson said, as CNN reports.
“Hutchinson said that Ornato told her this story of Trump being ‘irate’ back at his White House office later that day with Engel present. She said Engel ‘did not correct or disagree with any part of the story.'”
On June 28, after Hutchinson’s riving and damning testimony, New York Times’ Deputy managing editor Cliff Levy explained why Trump being so angry that he allegedly lunged at the steering wheel is so important.
Posting an image of the “historic” New York Times home page, Levy writes: “TRUMP TRIED TO LOOSEN SECURITY ON JAN. 6,” which was the paper’s lead story. “Knew Supporters Were Armed and Could Turn Violent • Lunged for Limo’s Steering Wheel in Attempt to Join Mob, Aide Says.”
Trump, knowing his supporters were armed, wanted to personally lead a violent insurrection or coup, Hutchinson had said during her testimony in June.
Also on June 28, The Washington Post ran a headline that read: “Trump sought to lead armed mob to Capitol on Jan. 6, aide says.”
Calling revelations from Hutchinson’s testimony “stunning” and “explosive,” The Post reported she told “Congress that [Trump] knew his supporters were carrying weapons, insisted on personally leading the armed mob to the Capitol, physically assailed the senior Secret Service agent who told him it was not possible, expressed support for the hanging of his own vice president, and mused about pardoning the rioters.”