Aug 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Secret Service official at center of Jan. 6 testimony retires

A text from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson to Assistant Director of the United States Secret Service Anthony Ornato appears on screen at a July House hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

U.S. Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato retired Monday, the agency confirmed.

Why it matters: Ornato, who served as a political adviser to former President Trump, was two months ago at the center of testimony that a former White House aide gave to the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot.

The big picture: Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified to the House panel in late June that Ornato briefed her about an altercation in which Trump allegedly lunged at a Secret Service agent and grabbed at the wheel of the car when told he couldn't go to the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

  • Trump denied Hutchinson's account.
  • Ornato has testified before the committee, but the hearing was not public.

What they're saying: Ornato, who joined the Secret Service in 1997, retired "in good standing after 25 years of devoted service," said the agency's special agent Kevin Helgert in an emailed statement.

  • Ornato said in a statement to CNN that he retired "to pursue a career in the private sector," noting that his "faithful service to my country" included "serving the past five presidents."
  • "I long-planned to retire and have been planning this transition for more than a year," he added.
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