WASHINGTON — Secret Service official Tony Ornato announced his retirement on Monday, two months after a former White House aide testified that he had told her then-President Donald Trump lashed out in anger when agents refused to drive him to the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by his supporters.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that Ornato was retiring, having earlier this year completed 25 years of service with the agency. Ornato’s retirement was announced internally earlier in the day and first reported by CNN.
Ornato, who joined the Secret Service in 1997, was the agent in charge of Trump’s protective detail for much of his presidency. In December 2019, he left the Secret Service to become part of the Trump administration, working as the deputy chief of staff for operations. Last year, Ornato rejoined the Secret Service to head its training program.
Ornato became a central figure in the congressional investigation into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, following testimony in June from Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
In testimony to the Jan. 6 House select committee, Hutchinson said, citing an account by Ornato, that Trump wanted to be driven to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and wrestled for the steering wheel with Secret Service agent Bobby Engel. Secret Service officials denied that any altercation took place in the presidential vehicle. Ornato and Engel haven’t publicly commented on the account.
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