The Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer for her stories on the Secret Service on Wednesday questioned why agents had not apprehended pro-Trump insurrectionists who brought weapons to the U.S. Capitol.
"Individuals who were with Donald Trump on Jan. 6th essentially did their job," Carol D. Leonnig said during an appearance on MSNBC. "They blocked the president despite him apparently roaring in their faces from going with the rabble, the mob that was heading to the Capitol. They said no, sir, cannot do that insane thing that you are proposing. So, that is, check. Mission accomplished. You know, their civil servant job performed. However, there is a problem in all of this which is the Secret Service uniformly kept enabling Donald Trump all along the way in the final year of his office. Doing things that were extremely dangerous and to his own agents, to his own health, to the health and safety of peaceful protesters."
She named some of the more egregious things they did like the clearing of Lafayette square, and the campaign rallies during COVID-19 that ultimately gave the virus to many of the advance agents. All of those were due to Anthony Ornato, the person that Trump appointed to be the assistant director of the Secret Service and who is still in his position today.
"Tony Ornato who was also with Donald Trump on Jan. 6th," Leonnig continued. "And the question becomes: did he do what he was supposed to do to protect the public and protect democracy? And we will see if he and also the security detail leader for President Trump testify before the committee. The agency, the Secret Service has said that they will make themselves available to testify under oath and they dispute some of Cassidy Hutchinson's allegations and accounts and they say they do."
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She went on to ask why the Secret Service failed in their jobs on Jan. 6.
"So, let's see what they have to say about what happened that day because first off, sorry to be long, but it's a crime to have a gun on federal land," said Leonnig. "Why didn't the Secret Service do anything about that? It's a crime to assault a federal officer. If Donald Trump laid hands on his detail leader inside the SUV in which they were traveling in on Jan. 6th as Cassidy Hutchinson was told, that's a crime. So, a lot of things need to be vetted and explained and we'll look for what those Secret Service agents have to share with the public."
MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace wondered why it isn't a crime to send violent and armed people to where the vice president is.
"I mean, on the act of now knowingly sending armed supporters who were committed to hanging Mike Pence, I wonder if there's any examination or Inspector General that is looking at Trump's role in endangering the life of a sitting vice president," Wallace considered.
Leonnig explained that the Justice Department will likely get to the bottom of everything but behind close doors the Secret Service is pooh poohing a lot of the Jan. 6-related stuff.
"There's a lot of oh, well, Donald Trump may have said that he wanted to take down the MAGs. He wanted to let people continue to carry weapons and come to his rally, but we just — we just dissed that. We'll never violate our protocols," Leonnig explained. "But where were the arrests of these people with weapons? Because the reason Capitol Police did not fire on anybody that day who were literally almost killing their own soldiers in arms, killing the police, they were almost at the stage of killing multiple police officers, heart attacks, spears, bear spray, heart attacks, everything. Why didn't they do that? Because they were afraid of a bloodbath. They were afraid if they pulled the trigger it would start all of the people who were armed who they knew were armed in the crowd firing back and then it would have been civil war on the steps of the Capitol."
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The Secret Service let down the Capitol Police youtu.be