Jan 6 committee to call in Secret Service agents and officials for interviews

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The House select committee investigating the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol is reportedly planning to interview top Secret Service officials and agents in the coming weeks.

The growing list of witnesses, which includes about half a dozen current and former officials, showed that the investigating committee is still pursuing answers from the Secret Service on a number of fronts, CNN reported, citing multiple sources.

Although the dates for the interviews have not been confirmed, the effort comes after the panel was given more than one million electronic communications by the federal agency, of which some of the text messages from the day of the riots were “erased”.

The committee, in its last hearing, presented some internal Secret Service communications, which suggested agents were aware of potential violence and threats against then vice president Mike Pence.

The panel is expected to call back former Secret Service assistant director Tony Ornato and Robert Engel, former president Donald Trump’s lead Secret Service agent of on 6 January.

Both men have been interviewed by the committee before.

Their names were highlighted by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who in her testimony, said Mr Ornato told her on the day of the attack that the 45th president “lunged” at his security detail after being told they would not transport him to the Capitol.

Mr Ornato’s lawyer Kate Driscoll had earlier said that the committee did not request additional testimony from her client since his last appearance in March.

However, on Thursday, Ms Driscoll told CNN that “Mr Ornato continues to cooperate with the committee in its investigation”.

Mr Engel and the driver of the former president's motorcade on 6 January were prepared to testify under oath that neither man was physically attacked or assaulted by Mr Trump and that he never lunged for the steering wheel of the vehicle, CBS News reported citing sources close to the Secret Service.

The committee is also likely to interview director Kimberly Cheatle, who was the assistant director of protective operations on the day of the attack, along with head of former vice president's security detail Timothy Giebels and Anthony Guglielmi, the agency’s communications director.