Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot is being probed by a grand jury, and some Secret Service agents have recently testified in the investigation.
At least five or six agents, who are believed to have been close to the former president on the night of the siege, have been subpoenaed and testified before the grand jury, according to two sources familiar with their testimony.
The agents are apparently providing the grand jury with evidence as they try to determine whether Trump had any part to play in the violent insurrection. Special Counsel Jack Smith is leading the investigation, which is separate from the Florida investigation that resulted in Trump's recent indictment over the handling of classified documents.
Investigators are particularly interested in whether Trump knew about the potential for violence on Jan. 6 and how he responded to threats made against then-Vice President Mike Pence.
Further complicating the matter is the recent revelation that all text messages between agents on Jan. 5 and 6 were lost due to a pre-planned software upgrade at the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General.
Other potential witnesses that may be of interest to the grand jury are former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson and former Secret Service agents Tony Ornato and Bobby Engel. Hutchinson told Congress' Jan. 6 committee last year that she had heard Trump tried to grab the car steering wheel of Agent Engel and attempted to reach for the “clavicles” of the agent. However, Trump denied this account.
Tony Ornato took a leave of absence from the Secret Service only to return in 2019 when Trump left office. It remains unknown whether Ornato or Engel have testified in this case.
A spokeswoman for the Secret Service declined to comment on the proceedings.
As the investigation continues, Trump is facing mounting scrutiny over his actions in the lead-up to the Capitol breach. It’s now up to the grand jury to determine whether the former president will be indicted for his involvement in the riot.
In the meantime, the secret testimony of the Secret Service agents involved may hold the key to shedding light on this incident.
Only time will tell how this grand jury investigation will play out and whether Trump will be indicted in the end. For now, the public is waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of this case and what implications it could have for the former president.