Brookings Institute fellow Norm Eisen said Sunday that the disturbing actions by Secret Service agents linked to the January 6 uprising raise concerns about a potential “obstruction of justice.”
Eisen, the White House ethics attorney in the Obama administration, was part of a panel discussion on CNN that revealed the Secret Service removed text messages from January 5 and January 6, 2021, which may be critical in the ongoing investigation. could. In an attempt to reverse his election defeat of former President Donald Trump.
But the deleted texts are part of a disturbing Secret Service story, Eisen said.
He pointed to agents behind the scenes who testified last month’s bombings before the House Jan. 6 committee by Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, an agent who also served as the White House deputy chief of staff for the operation, told him that Trump limped to the steering wheel of the presidential limo on January 6 because he Wanted to move to the Capitol. Told his supporters to march there and “fight like hell.”
According to Hutchinson, Ornato reported that Agent Bobby Engel held Trump’s hand to prevent him from interfering with the driver.
The Secret Service said it would issue a statement responding to Hutchinson’s testimony, but has yet to do so nearly three weeks later. Secret Service sources told reporters that agents would testify against Hutchinson under oath, which has not happened.
“I think questions about the Secret Service” have a bigger importance “than whether or not the data is lost,” Eisen said.
“I am deeply concerned that Cassidy Hutchinson testified, that disastrous blockbuster testimony about Donald Trump’s wrath that he could not go to the Capitol, that something in the Secret Service” — Tony Ornato and Bobby Engel — “seems to be part of a The anonymous Whisper campaign disagrees with his story,” he said.
“Then there are other witnesses who have come forward and backtracked on him,” including a member of the Metropolitan Police Department, who allegedly supported Hutchinson’s account, Eisen said. “And now we find that documents can be missing from critical days.”
“I think it needs to be seen [for] Possible legal issues, including whether there was a deliberate attempt to obstruct justice here because of Donald Trump’s Secret Service agents being too close to Donald Trump? Eisen asked.
“We don’t know the answer,” said Eisen. “But it requires a hard look [Secret] service, from Congress, and from the Department of Justice.”
Were the agents “part of an effort to intimidate Cassidy Hutchinson? We need answers,” he said.