Trump aides argued for him to appear in glass box at Jan 6 riot site

A pair of Trump White House aides asked if the Secret Service could construct a bulletproof glass box for then-president Donald Trump to stand in after accompanying supporters to the Capitol on January 6, transcripts of an interview with his ex-deputy chief of staff have shown.

The transcript of the House January 6 select committee’s deposition with ex-White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Tony Ornato revealed that the White House advance staffers, Bobby Peede and Max Miller, asked if the Secret Service could accompany the riotous mob he had called to Washington as they protested Congress’s certification of his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden outside the US Capitol.

When Mr Ornato, a Secret Service agent who was then detailed to the Executive Office of the President, asked what Mr Trump would accomplish by being at the Capitol during the vote count, Mr Peede and Mr Miller floated the idea of him appearing there in a bulletproof glass box.

"They said... they would build maybe a small stage, and the service can glass him in, and he could peacefully protest with people near the Capitol grounds," he recalled. He added that he considered the idea to be “ridiculous”.

Mr Trump’s desire to accompany his supporters to the Capitol informed one of the biggest surprises that came out of the committee’s hearings this summer, when ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson revealed that Mr Ornato told her Mr Trump had lunged at the head of his Secret Service detail after being told he couldn’t go to the Capitol on the day of the attack.

In his sworn interview, Mr Ornato said he could not recall any such conversation as having taken place, but committee members have said they received corroboration of Ms Hutchinson’s account from multiple sources, calling into question Mr Ornato’s credibility and raising the possibility that he could face criminal charges for lying to investigators.