Roughly a half-dozen Secret Service agents have testified before a federal grand jury about the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, NBC News reported Monday, citing sources familiar with their testimony.
Sources said they had appeared in compliance with subpoenas. It’s unknown what each agents’ proximity was to former President Trump on the day a mob breached the U.S. Capitol in a failed attempt to prevent Congress in its Constitutional duty to certify President Biden’s 2020 electoral college victory over Trump.
Separate from his indictment of Trump on 37 criminal counts related to his retaining classified documents post-Presidency, Special Counsel Jack Smith is also investigating criminal behavior related to January 6.
On Friday CNN revealed that Smith’s office had compelled at least two fake electors to testify to a federal grand jury about efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Last year, the House Select Committee that investigated January 6 noted that that in his speech that day on the Ellipse ahead of the deadly riot, then-President Trump used charged language exhorting the crowd to “fight like hell.”
During her testimony before that committee, former aide to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson, said that Tony Ornato, the deputy chief of staff who served as a liaison for the Secret Service, had told her that Trump tried to wrestle the steering wheel in his presidential vehicle away from the head of his Secret Service detail out of a desire to go with the mob to the Capitol.
It’s a claim some in the Secret Service disputed, though not under oath as Hutchinson was, and the agency’s credibility came into question last year after numerous Secret Service text messages from January 5 and 6 had reportedly been purged. The agency had said it happened during a pre-planned software upgrade.
Further, after then-Vice President Pence was called out by Trump in his speech to do “the right thing” and not certify the election results, as was his duty as President of the Senate, Pence reportedly said to his Secret Service detail on January 6 upon fleeing the Capitol, “I’m not getting in that car”—which January 6 Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) referred to as “six of the most chilling words in American history.”
Pence was 40 feet from the mob when he fled from the rioters inside the Capitol building, shouting, “Hang Mike Pence!”
Four people died during the insurrection, and five police officers died of various causes following the attack.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service declined to comment on NBC’s reporting.