House GOP report debunks Cassidy Hutchinson claim that Trump lunged for steering wheel on Jan 6

"He never grabbed the steering wheel. I didn’t see him, you know, lunge to try to get into the front seat at all. You know, what stood out was the irritation in his voice, more than his physical presence."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A newly released transcript from an interview conducted by the January 6 Select Committee has contradicted claims made by prominent witness Cassidy Hutchinson, who claimed that Trump "lunged" for the wheel and attacked a secret service agent while riding in a limo from his rally on January 6, demanding he be taken to the Capitol Building where a riot was forming.

According to the New York Times, a secret service agent who was driving the vehicle on January 6 told House investigators that "the president was insistent on going to the Capitol," adding "it was clear to me he wanted to go to the Capitol. He was not screaming at Mr. Engel."

"He was not screaming at me. Certainly his voice was raised, but it did not seem to me that he was irate — certainly not, certainly didn’t seem as irritated or agitated as he had on the way to the Ellipse."

The driver said that Trump had not lunged for the steering wheel or attacked one of the agents, contradicting former Mark Meadows aid Hutchinson’s testimony.

"I did not see him reach," the driver said. "He never grabbed the steering wheel. I didn’t see him, you know, lunge to try to get into the front seat at all. You know, what stood out was the irritation in his voice, more than his physical presence."

The driver said he recalled Trump being "upset that the vice president was unwilling to not certify the Electoral College" during the drive from the Ellipse, where Trump had spoken earlier in the afternoon.

He said that Trump was not convinced that a trip to the Capitol that day would pose any security threat, as much of the crowd were Trump supporters.

“I don’t remember exactly what prompted it or how that portion of the conversation kind of grew organically, but he was pushing pretty hard to go,” the agent testified. He added, “The thing that sticks out most was he kept asking why we couldn’t go, why we couldn’t go, and that he wasn’t concerned about the people that were there or referenced them being Trump people or Trump supporters.”

The interview was not released publicly by the J6 Committee, which had entered into an agreement with the Secret Service regarding 12 interviews to avoid revealing "privacy information, for-official-use-only information, intelligence and law enforcement sensitive records and raw intelligence information."

In a letter, Department of Homeland Security general counsel Jonathan E. Meyer said that the committee had requested that the department review the transcripts of these interviews for sensitive information, with Meyer noting in February to House Republicans that the agency had still been reviewing the interviews over a year after the driver was interviewed.

On Monday afternoon, House Republicans released a report on their investigation into the J6 committee, calling into question why those who had firsthand knowledge of the situation were interviewed months after Hutchinson, who said she had heard the claims through another person of the car ride.

The report states that "records obtained by the Subcommittee indicate that the Select Committee waited until November 2022 to interview them – well over four months after Hutchinson’s public testimony, and when it was obvious Republicans would win control of the House."

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