Secret Service Director Who Claimed Trump Grabbed Steering Wheel – Quits

( )- On Monday, a key person who’s the focus of controversial comments regarding the actions of former President Donald Trump on the day of the Capitol riot, stepped down from his role at the U.S. Secret Service.

Tony Ornato left his position as the assistant director of the Secret Service, roughly two months after Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide at the White House, testified to the House’s January 6 investigating committee that Ornato told her an explosive story about Trump’s actions on January 6.

In her testimony, Hutchinson said Ornato relayed a story to her that Trump was extremely angry when he learned that his security detail wouldn’t drive him to the U.S. Capitol building after he gave a speech at the Stop the Steal rally that preceded the riot.

Ornato’s departure could be seen as in relation to this explosive testimony, yet he said that he was planning to leave the Secret Service for a while now. As he said in a statement:

“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 has long been considered an ally of Trump’s. He did say, though, that he didn’t take on any role with Trump, nor any of the companies that he runs. He declined to name who he would be working for now.

In the meantime, Ornato told media outlets that his legal representation has had conversations with the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to schedule an interview with them.

As he said:

“I plan to continue cooperating with the DHS OIG’s investigation. My counsel have been in touch with the OIG, and they discussed but have not yet settled on a mutually convenient date for us to speak.”

The DHS IG is conducting an investigation into how prepared the Secret Service was before the January 6 attack as well as its response on that day.

CNN reached out to DHS OIG for a comment about the matter, but a spokesperson would only say:

“To preserve the integrity of our work, and consistent with federal guidelines, DHS OIG does not comment about ongoing reviews. Similarly, we do not confirm the existence of, or comment about, criminal investigations.”

The House’s January 6 investigating committee has said that they believe Ornato is a central figure in the whole ordeal who could provide them with some valuable information about the intentions and movements of Trump in the days leading up to January 6 as well as during that day.

Ornato previously ran the former president’s security detail. In December of 2019, he also joined the staff at the White House as its deputy chief of staff in what has been considered an unprecedented move. That role was only temporary, though, and he returned to serve with the Secret Service afterward.