(breitbart) – Tony Ornato, the Secret Service assistant director who denied Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony alleging former President Donald Trump attempted to grab the limo steering wheel during the January 6 Capitol Hill riot, has officially retired.
Secret Service communication’s chief Anthony Guglielmi confirmed to The Hill on Monday that Ornato retired after 25 years of service.
“I did retire today to pursue a career in the private sector. I retired from the U.S. Secret Service after more than 25 years of faithful service to my country, including serving the past five presidents. I long-planned to retire and have been planning this transition for more than a year,” Ornato said in a statement to CNN.
Ornato, who served as Trump’s deputy chief of staff, became a household name earlier this year when former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the January 6 Committee that she had learned from Ornato that Donald Trump had literally tried to commandeer the presidential suburban during the January 6 riot and became borderline violent when lead Secret Service agent Bobby Engel tried to stop him.
“I noticed the head of Mr. Trump’s security detail sitting in a chair, looking somewhat discombobulated, a little lost,” Hutchinson testified. “I looked at Tony, he said, ‘Did you effing hear what happened in the Beast?’ I said, ‘No, Tony, I just got back, what happened?’ Hutchinson continued:
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 that Bobby had more information. As the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going up to the Capitol. And when Bobby had relayed to him that we’re not; we don’t have the assets to do it; it’s not secure; we’re going back to the West Wing, the president had a very strong, very angry response to that.
Hutchinson further testified that Trump “said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now.’”
When Bobby Engel allegedly told Trump that they would be going back to the West Wing, Hutchinson said the former president became borderline violent. Hutchinson said:
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 Bobby Engel.
The veracity of Hutchinson’s testimony was called into question when reports surfaced Bobby Engel denied Donald Trump ever lunged at the steering wheel or became violent.
Though Ornato has yet to testify before the January 6 committee, an anonymous Secret Service official told CNN that he denies ever telling Cassidy Hutchinson the story about Trump’s behavior on the day of the riot.