The explosive new allegations were made on Tuesday by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone repeatedly warned staff in the days before the rally that “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable” if Trump goes to the Capitol, Hutchinson testified.
Following Trump’s speech at the Ellipse, he got into the presidential SUV under the impression that he was going to the Capitol, then had a “very strong, very angry response” when the head of his Secret Service detail, Bobby Engel, said that they were going to the White House.
“The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f’ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,” Hutchinson testified, relaying what she was told later that day by another White House aide, Tony Ornato.
“The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol.'”
Engel and the SUV driver, an unnamed Secret Service agent, are prepared to testify before the Jan. 6 committee that the president didn’t lunge at the steering wheel. The Jan. 6 committee and the Secret Service are in discussions about whether one or both men will appear on camera.
The news was originally reported by NBC after Hutchinson’s testimony on Tuesday.
Jody Hunt, a former Justice Department official in the Trump administration who is representing Hutchinson, tweeted that others with knowledge of the events should appear before the Jan. 6 committee.
“Ms. Hutchinson testified, under oath, and recounted what she was told,” Hunt tweeted. “Those with knowledge of the episode also should testify under oath.”