Carol Leonnig, an investigative journalist and author who has followed the events and aftermath of January 6, 2001’s Capitol riots, recently claimed that members of Donald Trump’s Secret Service detail were actively cheering on the MAGA rioters of the day in question.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow after the damning (for Trump) testimony that former aide to Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson, gave to the House Select Committee, Leonnig claimed that most of Trump’s detail was rooting for Trump to get the election of Joe Biden overturned.
Cassidy Hutchinson made several claims about how Trump acted and claimed that he himself demanded to go to the Capitol after the riots began and even getting into an altercation with some of his detail over the demands.
Leonnig, who wrote the book, Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of The Secret Service, said it was very “problematic” that some of Trump’s Secret Service detail appeared to support the rioters at the Capitol that day:
“There was a very large contingent of Donald Trump’s detail who were personally cheering for [Joe] Biden to fail. Some of them even took to their personal media accounts to cheer on the insurrection and the individuals rioting up to the Capitol, as patriots. That is problematic.I am not saying that Tony Ornato or Bobby Engel did that but they are viewed as being aligned with Donald Trump, which cuts against them.”
“However, if they testify, under oath, ‘this is what happened,’ I think that is going to be important.”
She also added her thoughts on Cassidy Hutchinson’s credibility:
“Cassidy Hutchinson presents as one of the most credible witnesses possible in this way. She had detailed descriptions of what she heard, what people told her and what she heard herself, what she knew for surety and she was very clear about making distinguishing remarks about how she learned these things.
The way she learned these particular things about an alleged altercation was allegedly from Tony Ornato, that is important to know.
The second part I would stress is both of these individuals, Bobby Engel and Tony Ornato were very close to President Trump.
Some people accused them of, at times, being yes-men and enablers of the President, particularly Tony Ornato.
People who wanted to do what [Trump] wanted and see him pleased.”
“That was frustrating to agents that were more focussed on security or being independent or good planning. So both of these individuals lose a little bit of credibility because of how closely they have been seen as aligned to Donald Trump.”