Presidential Protection or Abduction: Why Secret Service Wrong for all the Right Reasons on Jan. 6

Below is my column in the Hill on the surprising claim this week that the Secret Service ignored direct and repeated demands of former President Donald Trump to go to Capitol Hill on January 6th. It is an allegation that raises some interesting questions. On one hand, the Secret Service is trained to take immediate action to protect a president. On the other hand, it cannot effectively control the presidency by controlling a president like a modern Praetorian Guard. In the end, if this account is true, the security team was likely wrong in refusing the order of the President to be taken to Capitol Hill.

Here is the column:

The sixth hearing of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 riot finally fulfilled the media’s billing as “must-see TV.” Indeed, at points, the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, sounded like a cable-series episode of “When Presidents Attack.” She alleged that an enraged Donald Trump threw his lunch against a White House wall, an allegation Trump denies.

But the hearing’s grabber came when Hutchinson testified that she was told that Trump became physical with his Secret Service security team, trying to force them to drive him to Capitol Hill as the riot unfolded.

Hutchinson’s testimony offers an explanation for a long-standing mystery: Why did Trump repeatedly say he would go to Capitol Hill with his supporters but then decided to return to the White House? Hutchinson’s surprising answer: He didn’t decide.

According to her second-hand account from people in the presidential limo, known as “The Beast,” Trump intended to do exactly what he promised and ordered the Secret Service to take him to the Capitol. But Tony Ornato, White House deputy chief of staff for operations, and Bobby Engel, who headed Trump’s security detail, reportedly refused.

Hutchinson said Ornato asked her, “Did you f-ing hear what happened in The Beast?’” She then repeated Ornato’s account:

“So once the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going up to the Capitol, and when Bobby had relayed to him, ‘We’re not, you don’t have the assets to do it, it’s not secure, we’re going back to the West Wing,’ the president had a very strong, very angry response to that … [Trump] said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f-ing president, take me up to the Capitol now.’ To which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.’ 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.’ … [Trump] then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel, and when Mr. Ornato had recounted this story to me, he had motioned toward his clavicles.”

Stunning though the allegation was, several media reports cite “a source close to the Secret Service” as denying the claim of a physical altercation and offering to have Engel or another official testify to that under oath.

Even if true, that still leaves the main allegation — that the Secret Service effectively made the President of the United States a captive and refused his repeated, direct orders on where to take him.

If true, the security team’s motivation certainly was commendable. It probably prevented Jan. 6 from getting much, much worse. Though the riot had not yet started when Trump allegedly issued his demand, both he and Vice President Mike Pence could have been in the midst of the uncontrolled violence, with uncertain communications and security.

The episode is likely to bedevil scholars for years, like much else in Trump’s presidency. For starters, what was the authority of the security team to refuse a direct order from a sitting president to go to Congress?

The Secret Service has always been a unique organization, but it remains, first and foremost, a law enforcement agency. During the Clinton impeachment, I represented former attorneys general in opposing a “Secret Service privilege” that would have recognized enhanced powers and privilege for agents.

The Secret Service has always assumed discretion in seizing a president to protect him from immediate harm. Its agents are trained to take control of a president or other protected persons in a moment of peril. They do not ask permission; they grab a president and, if necessary, carry him to safety.

This was not a case of an imminent threat, however. It was based, presumably, on a decision that the Capitol was not adequately secured. It was not unlike a president demanding to get out of The Beast to work a rope line or to make an unscheduled stop at a building. Theoretically, he has the authority to do that, not only as the head of the Executive Branch but as a citizen.

After 9/11, then-Vice President Dick Cheney recounted how involuntary these moments can become: “My agent all of a sudden materialized right beside me and said, ‘Sir, we have to leave now.’ He grabbed me and propelled me out of my office, down the hall, and into the underground shelter in the White House.” That was in the midst of a terrorist attack, of course, and Cheney perhaps could have countermanded the order.

Presidents are known to drive agents crazy with impromptu stops to shake hands with onlookers. Then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sent Russian and American security scrambling with a sudden stop to greet citizens in the middle of Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW during a 1987 state visit.

So Trump reportedly decided he wanted to lead the protests to the Capitol and didn’t care about the security uncertainties — and he actually had a right to do so. Presidents can elect to put themselves in harm’s way. For example, Jimmy Carter pledged to stay at his desk to be incinerated in any nuclear war.

What if Trump got out and called a taxi or, even worse, a police officer? The Secret Service has no authority to put a president into effective custody against his will. In criminal procedure, a person is in custody when a reasonable person would have concluded that they are not free to go. In Trump’s case, he reportedly said he did not want to go back to the White House but was taken there anyway.

Was Trump effectively under arrest or in a custodial hold? Probably not, but it certainly is intriguing. The president could have gotten out of the limo; there is no report that Ornato locked the doors or turned a presidential protective mission into a presidential kidnapping.

It is unclear, though, what the Secret Service would have done if the president got out and tried to join his supporters in marching to the Capitol. The agents absolutely were correct that by doing so he would have put himself in danger — but the Secret Service cannot control the presidency by limiting the movement of a president. Otherwise, it can look like a modern Roman Praetorian Guard accused of dictating outcomes or events.

This act of disobedience may have saved the country from an even greater crisis, one in which the president and vice president stood on opposing sides of a protest line or, worse yet, in the middle of a full-fledged riot. The fact that Trump knew some of his followers were armed, according to Hutchinson’s testimony, only makes that prospect more nightmarish.

As usual, the Secret Service did not ask permission (as opposed to later forgiveness) in taking action in a president’s best interests. As a result, we did have a type of captive president, if only briefly. And it is worth contemplating the implications of that. After all, Trump was correct, if crude: He was “the f-ing president.”

In the end, the security team was correct on the merits but probably wrong on the law. This was not an unlawful order, and a president must be able to control his own travel. In other words, the agents were wrong for all the right reasons.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

343 thoughts on “Presidential Protection or Abduction: Why Secret Service Wrong for all the Right Reasons on Jan. 6”

  1. Mr. Turley, with respect, you sir have allowed an anti-Trump bias to control your thoughts entirely. All claims made by this witness have been refuted by Secret Service personnel actually inside the limo that exact time and day. Shane upon thee-BIGLY❗😎

    1. You’re either ignorant or lying when you say “All claims made by this witness have been refuted by Secret Service personnel.”

      All the Secret Service itself has said is “The United States Secret Service has been cooperating with the Select Committee since its inception in spring 2021, and will continue to do so, including by responding on the record to the Committee regarding the new allegations surfaced in today’s testimony.”

      Secret Service spokesman Anthony Gugliemi also told NBC News that the Secret Service has communicated to the Department of Homeland Security that any and all personnel requested by the Jan. 6 committee are available to testify under oath, responding to Tuesday’s allegations.

      1. “You’re either ignorant or lying “

        What else could Scott say when replying to a person who holds third or fourth degree hearsay as legitimate fact. He has to make it clear to cross your brain barrier.

        1. The statement “All claims made by this witness have been refuted by Secret Service personnel.” is false.

          There are only a few reasons that people make false statements. They’re either jokes (which doesn’t seem to be the case here), mistakes (due to ignorance, inattentiveness, etc.), or lies.

          1. The statements supposedly made by the Secret Service and relayed elsewhere were second-hand hearsay, not any different than the hearsay from Hutchinson whose might have been third or fourth-person hearsay.

            You lack the intelligence to understand the value of hearsay no matter who uses it.

  2. “The episode is likely to bedevil scholars for years . . .”

    Seriously?!

    Here’s what should bedevil those scholars:

    Countless people are conspiring to keep a dementia patient propped up in the Oval Office.

    What did they know? And when did they know it? As bonus scholarship: Why was the media complicit in that conspiracy? Who were the real powers behind the throne?

  3. This column assumes that Hutchinson’s testimony is true, which has been contested by the very people who supposedly relayed this information to her.

  4. Everything Cassidy said can be corroborated. Come find me when any of the grown-ass men in her recollections show up to testify under oath.

    Anyhoo, to the folks trying to say this never happened, these facts are NOT in dispute: the demented orange meatball himself has endlessly whined and cried his man-baby fits that he was not “allowed to go.” So follow along, OK?

    Omg, I’ve been wondering the same thing!! WHO convinced the Secret Service to go against him? I think Ivanka was involved.

    But you also have to remember that their colleagues guarding VP Pence are on the Hill at this point and can relay to the agents on the Ellipse that Trump’s cult members are trying to KILL the Vice President. At that point, if that had driven him up or let his fat ass walk, it might have been a dereliction of duty on their part.

    1. For them to testify they’d have to be called, and the chances of that happening are less than a blizzard in Miami over the weekend from a committee hell bent and pushing a predetermined narrative.

    2. “But you also have to remember that their colleagues guarding VP Pence are on the Hill at this point and can relay to the agents on the Ellipse that Trump’s cult members are trying to KILL the Vice President. At that point, if that had driven him up or let his fat ass walk, it might have been a dereliction of duty on their part.”
      ****************************
      When do they bring the cart around in the morning? Be sure you take them today.

  5. I read your article and wondered why? This mob of Congressional woks who are feeding the American People this trash are the ones on trial, and should be found guilty and sentence to life in Purgatory…..Nothing good to say about these people spending my money for this.

  6. If you are Canadian or American , there are just 2 degrees of separation: Ukraine> Russia> Canada (via Arctic Ocean), or Ukraine > Russia > Alaska (via Bering Strait).

  7. Why would you even write about this? The “witness” was full of doubt and it has been debunked. What a waste of time for you to write and me to read.

    1. Until this story is corroborated it should be considered false. The agents in the car have reportedly said Trump never grabbed for the wheel or tried to attack them, and Ortero has reportedly denied that he even told this story to CH. Other aspects of her story have also been called into question. She appears not to have written the note she says she wrote and the WH counsel was not at the WH when she said he spoke to her. It sounds like it’s all made up, just like the Alfa Bank story and the Steele dossier. Standard practice for those opposed to Trump.

  8. What’s interesting is the assumption that if Trump went to the Capital things would have been worse. What if he went and subdued the crowd? What if he went and cajoled the protesters to remain peaceful? Would that have happened? I don’t know. Does anyone else know for sure? One thing that is certain is that in this tumultuous time, America has become a nation of mind readers.

    1. That’s a lot of “what if’s”. Trump already showed intent. He knew many protesters were armed. He knew he was planning on marching to the Capitol with them. He wanted the violence to continue. He knew his staff was pleading with him to call off the violence and he ignored them until he learned about VP pence was calling for the national guard instead of Trump. That would have shown he was intent on threatening the VP by letting the mob continue unabated.

  9. Armed to the teeth? Early reports of the riot stated that no one in the crowd was carrying a weapon. No shots were ever fired from the crowd. The only victim of the riot was an unarmed woman shot by an unhinged guard. Now we have to believe the crowd was armed, because who would go to an “insurrection” without a gun? My how the story is changing according to the desperate needs of the Jan. 6th committee.

    1. Giocon,

      Is Conservative Republican lawyer Andrew McCarthy a RINO or suffering from TDS?

  10. Hutchinson’s testimony is likely a lie, and if the committee had any real interest in the truth it would call the agents who contest it to give witness. There is the assumption that, had Trump gone to the Capitol, things would have been worse — but it is also possible that his presence might have prevented the riot. And, yes, it was a riot — not an “insurrection.” As far as people in the crowd being armed, this is, again, the testimony of Hutchinson, a known liar. One doesn’t have to be a “Trumpist” to see that this committee is a disgrace. I never thought the McCarthy hearings would ever be outdone, but these committee hearings have reached a new low.

        1. Wen Bars,

          The fact that Turley has NOT criticized his Fox colleague McCarthy for concluding that Trump likely committed a crime IS telling!

          Turley “defends” Trump by conceding he is a “jerk,” but not a criminal:

          “Prosecuting Trump: Being a jerk isn’t criminal”

          https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/3532548-prosecuting-trump-being-a-jerk-isnt-criminal/

          Turley’s relishes criticizing liberal legal analysts, but he does not criticize his Fox colleague for criminalizing Trump’s conduct.

          How do you explain that?

          Hypocrisy?

            1. Envy does not look good on you, Fishbreath. quit your job with Act Blue and apply at Fox News.

        2. Wen, Jeff Silberman is a headline grabber. He knows little of what is below the headline, evidenced by his repetitive posts containing the same information. All information that follows is based on mind-reading what Turley thinks. That is his gig because he lacks abilities to defend his ideas or lack of them.

          I told him yesterday, like you did today, that McCarthy was initially one of the Never Trump group. That is not his interest. He is a troll who insults but blames others for the low quality of posting on the blog. The insults go to everyone that is not hard left.

          For a person with his presumed training, he is incredibly shallow and one of the worst types of hypocrites.

          He is stirring the pot.

  11. Dr. T – What makes this piece unfortunate is the IF-IF-IF -THEN scenarios. We know that Ms Hutchinson’s story has been debunked by Secret Service. Now your piece infers (to those with TDS) that IF Trump was insisting he wanted to go to the Capitol THEN he was interested in being a part of the riot. I have no idea if he wanted to go, and if he did there is NO indication that it had any malintent… indeed IF he did want to go it may have been for any number of reasons. But those with TDS, most Dems, and the Press will create absurd stories out of thin air – it’s their smear machine which has been on full force for the last 40 years.

    Let’s remember that Schiff, Schumer, Swallwell, Waters, Clapper and most Democrats, who for 4 years, lied about Flynn, Trump, Carter Page, and Republicans, utilized an entirely fake story, written by a foreign national and distributed by the DNC and HRC, full of IF-THEN absurdities. Meanwhile, we have actual video, email, and material information that the Biden family, including Joe via Hunter was receiving millions of dollars from foreign nationals and the Press is acting as if it’s not worthy of discussion.

    The DNC, Dems, and the Press have been literally lying to the American public every day since July of 2016. (Actually it started around 1974).

    1. You’re off by 100+ years (1861, Civil War) but 1964 is a good example of how Democrats lie and stoke fears for political power. Note Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration at the end of his shameful “Daisy” ad against Barry Goldwater in 1964. Recall the level of racism that LBJ enabled across America.

      We must either love each other or we must die
      – LBJ

      “Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home”

      1. Could you go a little deeper into how LBJ enabled racism across America? I’m not saying at all LBJ wasn’t racist, I’m asking what he did to make it easier for people to act in a way they were already inclined. Be prepared that this is a set up to discuss every Republican that followed Lee Atwater’s, “Southern Strategy,” (Nixon, Bush, Bush, Trump). I don’t know whether Goldwater was an advocate of that particular strategy but he had his own. Trump deserves his own chapter but we don’t even need to single him out.

        1. Good morning Enigma,
          President LBJ has been quoted as saying that, and I’m paraphrasing the first part, “[If we enact welfare], I’ll have those n*****S voting Democrat for [a long time].”
          The man hated minorities.

        2. Back to the “southern strategy” nonsense.

          The “southern strategy” predates atwater – so your atwater quote is nonsense.
          And that is ALL you have.

          You claimed previously that the south swooned and all the dixiecrats became republicans. With extremely rare exceptions that is FALSE.
          Republican candidates slowly defeated dixicrats in the south ONE BY ONE.

          If you wish to keep up this nonsense further – Voters throughout the South until very recently with few exceptions had a choice between a racist democrat and a republican.

          Even today Republicans have not taken complete control of the south – in fact in the 90’s they did not control a majority of the south.

          So your argument is that Republicans decided in the late 60’s to appeal to racist white democrats to do what – vote for far less racist republicans instead of their racist white democrats ?

          Carter won the entire south – except Virginia in 1976
          Clinton won half the South in 1992 and again in 1996
          Obama won 1/3 the South in 2008 and key southern states in 2012
          Biden would not have won without ??Key southern states.

          Democrat Robert Byrd was a KKK grand cyclops and US senator until his death in 2010.

          Democratrs STILL reliably win about 1/3 of Southern house seats.

          Democrats STILL hold 3 sourthern governorships.

            1. I do not know why you bother either,

              You fixate on YOUR interpretation of what someone else said, rather than facts.

              Th GOP southern strategy is atleast as old as Goldwater – i.e. it predates Atwater and Nixon.

              It has WORKED – in an entirely different way than YOUR interpretation of Atwater.

              With few exceptions “dixiecrats” Remained Democrats until they Died.

              Southern Republicans Universally beat Southern democrats that were UNIVERSALLY more racist.

              These and much else are verifiable FACTS.

              What did Atwater actually mean ? That does not actually matter – though you are wrong.

              What actually happened ? That matters a great deal.

              YOUR entire perspective – on history on politics on everything is based on finding ONE or a few examples – annecdotes to convert into a narrative.

              YOU never bother to confirm using available FACTS whether that narrative is supported by reality.

              YOU fixate on words – cherry picked. Out of the millions of words that republicans and democrats have said – you only hear the ones you want.

              Just about every democratic politician was against gay marraige not to long ago – yet in your world only republicans are homophobic.

              The most racist politicians in the world have been democrats – for 250 years – yet you pretend that a few remarks by a few republicans that you have to interpret to get racism are damning evidence.

              Blacks were not lynched by republicans in the south.
              Jim Crow was not passed by republicans in the south.

              The CRA and VRA required democratic votes and a democratic president to pass – ONLY because nearly all republicans were not enough.
              Only because for over a century democrats fillibustered civil rights.

              You are blind to actual history and reality.

              And until you bring FACTS to the argument – you should not bother.

              1. Does arguing twenty points in a single post make you somehow right? Pick something you feel is meaningful and limit yourself to no more than a few issues at a time.
                Don’t confuse Republicans of today with who they once were. The Party of Lincoln is long gone. Democrats don’t deserve praise either, they are only the best option now when grading on a curve. Many of your statements are incorrect but I can’t do these multiple issue posts.

                1. First you complain that I did not address one point in one of your posts some time ago,
                  now you complain that I address too many points in your posts.

                  If you want my responses to be shorter and address fewer points – make fewer errors in yours.

                2. If I make 20 points in a post – that means you have 20 different oportunities to prove I am wrong about something.

                  Have you managed ONCE ?

                3. This is not about “feelings”.

                  I choose how I post. You do not.

                  That you beleive you are entitled to is why you are a left wing nut.

                4. You are the one confused about republicans.

                  Neither republicans nor democrats are what they once were – but history does actually matter.

                  We can strip away whether the bad ideas of the past were republican or democrat and still learn what failed and was evil in the past so as to seek repeating it in the present.

                  Early 20th century progressivism as a whole, Eugenics, Wilson’s administrative state, US intervention in WWI were all massive mistakes.

                  The New Deal was an economic disaster, with the US being the only nation in the world suffering a recession in the middle of the depression and having the longest and weakest recovery. The Japanese internment was positively evil.
                  While MacCarthyites were correct about the evils of communism and its infiltration of US government and its danger to US schools, they were incorrect in engaging in censorship. The battle of ideas is fought in the open with everyone given the oportunity to make their case or damn themselves. The “great Society” was incredibly damaging to blacks in this country.

                  The modern progressive movement is if anything worse than its predecessors.

                  We know from history what works and what does not.

                  And YOU are selling things that do not work – requiring you to rewrite history

                5. If something is incorrect – prove that.

                  Vague nonspecific claims of error are meaningless.

                  If you can not address 20 points – address one.

                  Feel free to pick the point you think you have he best argument.

                  But you do not do that.

                  Like the typical leftist – you do not engage.

                  You are incapable of actual debate on the merits.

                  You are only capable of pushing your agenda in audiences where you face no pushback.

                  You can do whatever you want to do.

                  Regardless, if you make multiple errors, you are obligated to defend those errors or correct them.

                    1. You make my case.

                      You have almost never engaged on any point of disagreement – beyond smears and insults and attacks on style.

                      Do not tell me a claim is ridiculous SHOW ME.

                      Make your arguments using Facts, Logic, and Reason.

                      Annecdotes are a legitimate START – but they must ultimately be supported by DATA.

                      Annecdotes are a basis for further inquiry, they are NOT sufficient to reach conclusions.

                      It is also critical to get timelines correct.

                      Many of the issues you deal with take place over several centuries. but you pretend everything happened at once.

                      You claim that Slavery was fundimentally different from the experiences of irish tenant farmers who were practically boned to the land.
                      Then you claim that Black sharecroppers were no different from slaves – which is it ?
                      Is tenant farming or sharecropping the same as slavery or not ?

                      Ireland now has a higher standard of living than the US – clearly the irish in ireland managed to overcome conditions atleast as bad as Black sharecroppers, and nearly as bad as black slaves.

                      You seem to think their english overlords – who ruled their estates from hundreds of miles away were more benign than former plantation owners ?
                      The Irish ultimately went to war with the british to gain independence, and continued a terror campaign for more than half a century.

                      Today blacks coming from Africa outperform natives in most everyway.

                      I would suggest that you consider the very policies that you think “help” blacks in the US have harmed them.

                      Regardless, the FACTS make it clear that whatever the root of the problem is – it is NOT what you claim.

      1. Enigma – what is revealing is that the 1/6 investigators never contacted Secret Service or tried to corroborate the story spun by Ms. Hutchinson. It speaks to the investigator’s desire to build a narrative vs find the truth.

        And if people were rioting, he had a right to be angry since he had made significant attempt and Capitol Police had made attempts to have more security, while Pelosi ignored these requests. If you want to theorize on what happenned, Pelosi’s decisions might make a good starting point.

        The 1/6 investigators have done 1/6th of a job – for a reason. Their intent is not to find the truth but to create a political smear campaign.

        1. You make allegations against Pelosi yet ignore the person trying to have the magnetometers removet so that armed people can go to the Capitol? What’s wrong with you?

        2. Suburbanwoman says:

          “The 1/6 investigators have done 1/6th of a job – for a reason. Their intent is not to find the truth but to create a political smear campaign.”

          Turley disputes your opinion entirely:

          “Many of us support the effort to bring greater transparency to what occurred on Jan. 6th and these hearings have offered a great deal of important new information. Indeed, it has proven gut-wrenching in the accounts of lawyers and staff trying to combat baseless theories and to protect the constitutional process.”

          http://jonathanturley.org/2022/06/30/key-witnesses-challenge-bombshell-allegations-of-key-witness-before-the-1-6-committee/

          I guess Turley must be a NeverTrumper, huh?

          1. Jeff – When the committee starts to operate under accepted US juris prudence which only determines an outcome based on BOTH a prosecution and a defense, only then can any one say they know what happened. Right now we know less the 1/6th because they have no interest in the complete truth. But if you buy it, you are just like the majority of the US who gets their news from a one-party propaganda press and Tik Tok, Colbert, and GMA. I actually think you are smarter than that …

            1. Suburbanwoman,

              I wish there were no public committee hearings. I don’t like courts of public opinions for obvious reasons. I would prefer all this testimony were conducted secretly and turned over to the DOJ so that it could prosecute in courts of law with full due process. Even so, Trumpists will not accept a guilty verdict of Trump.

        3. “If you want to theorize on what happenned, Pelosi’s decisions might make a good starting point.”

          Excellent point.

  12. Turley notes in passing:

    “The fact that Trump knew some of his followers were armed, according to Hutchinson’s testimony, only makes that prospect more nightmarish.”

    His Fox legal analyst colleague, Andrew McCarthy, had a different take on this nightmarish fact which Turley glosses over:

    “The Jan. 6 incitement case against Trump only gets stronger”

    https://nypost.com/2022/06/29/the-jan-6-incitement-case-against-trump-only-gets-stronger/

    “The significance of White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is that it shows Trump knew, in the moments before he took to the podium to give his rambunctious Ellipse speech, that the mob was armed to the teeth, including with firearms. He is said to have been furious at the use of magnetometers — it thinned the crowd around the podium, which was not the optic he wanted. He railed at his aides to let people in, even if they were armed and dangerous, because they were “no threat to me.” That is, he knew they were a threat to someone — namely the government officials at the Capitol. He demanded that they be let in and said that they could then “march to the Capitol.”

    “But the second obstruction possibility is more basic: Trump knowingly and willfully exhorted an armed mob to descend on the Capitol for the purpose of corruptly influencing how members of Congress would conduct the constitutionally mandated electoral count. That’s a rudimentary offense. Everyone in America knows it’s lawful to influence Congress with provocative speech and edgy legal claims, but it is never lawful to influence lawmakers by the threat of force.”
    —————

    Ok, Trumpists, is McCarthy a RINO or suffering from TDS? It’s got to be one or the other- let’s take a poll.

    1. McCarthy is a guy looking for a job there, psycho. And he wants it in the Swamp where he’s always been. Come on, man. It’s not that hard. When you feed at the trough you got to keep the farmers in charge happy.

      1. Almost everyone whose testimony you’ve heard has been a Republican who worked within the Trump orbit. Are all of them lying under oath under penalty of perjury? Look at those other Republicans refusing to appear, why not come forward if what they have to say is positive? This could have been a whole different kind of hearing had Republicans agreed to participate, can we conclude anything besides they don’t want to know?

        1. “Look at those other Republicans refusing to appear, why not come forward if what they have to say is positive?”
          ***************************
          Same reason that Richard Prior objected to being in a police lineup with a bucket, a refigerator and him. This isn’t too tough to figure out.

          1. Not wanting to appear could be based on innocent people being concerned about being framed? There’s also (the much greater possibility) that they won’t look good or are guilty of crimes? They can take the fifth like Mike Flynn to questions about believing in the peaceful transfer of power? (If you didn’t actually hear Flynn take the fifth to that question, my bringing it up will have less of an impact). The worst the committee can do is make a referral to the Justice Department which seems more than willing to decline referrals.

            1. enigma:

              “Not wanting to appear could be based on innocent people being concerned about being framed? .. They can take the fifth like Mike Flynn to questions about believing in the peaceful transfer of power?”
              *********************************
              Well, the first issue is kinda the business of kangaroo courts. The second is what mob bosses do in Congressional hearings in every gangster movie. Take it from me, pleading the Fifth just makes you guilty in the court the Dims are trying to convice (poorly I might add) … the Public Opinion Court.*

              *”St. Louis Cardinals player Mark McGwire pleaded the Fifth, avoiding questions on steroid use before retiring in 2001. Enron chairman Kenneth Lay plead the Fifth in 2002 when he appeared before Congress on a stock market scandal. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff invoked his Fifth Amendment rights when called before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and asked about lobbying work in 2004. Charles Keating invoked his constitutional protection against self-incrimination and refused to testify before the committee that was holding hearings on the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan.”

              How’d that work out for them? They sure are household names, aren’t they? Leave the lawyering to the lawyers.

              1. “There’s also (the much greater possibility) that they won’t look good “

                Enigma is a loser at craps. The Casino’s love him and want him to come.

        1. Jeff is a four-year-old who is unable to filter his remarks. That is one of the problems Trump faces, filtering, but Trump was a good leader while Jeff is nothing but a superficial, hypocritical troll.

          1. He’s a fool that has no clue what he is spewing, but likes to see his name in print A LOT.

  13. Professor Turley…..read up on the Statutes/Fedkeral Code re Kidnapping/False Imprisonment…..the Secret Service does not have the legal authority to detain the President or ay Protective Detail detain the person they are protecting.

    As you state….they can take immediate action in the face of a direct threat and imminent threat of bodily harm or death.

    I have done many Protective Service Details (PSD) while a Federal Special Agent.

    At times our guy went places we wished them not to go….but that is how it works.

    They decide where they go….we provide the best security we can under the circumstances and the elevated risk is the responsibility of that person being protected.

    I shall be shocked to learn that Hutchinson’s allegations are true….as they just do not pass the smell test.

    When I hear the sworn testimony of the two best sources for what happened in the Beast……the Secret Service Agent driving….and the Detail Leader in the right front seat…..then I shall believe whatever they have to say while under Oath.

    Until then….as far as I am concerned…..her account based upon an alleged conversation with Ornate…..is just heresay.

    As the PSD Leader you may advise, counsel, suggest, ask, plead and beg…..but when the President of the United States gives you an order….you cease talking and start carrying out that Order the best you can and keep him as safe as possible.

    It would take a very, very, veery strong person to refuse a Presidential Order such as the one in question…..as in most cases….that would be the end of that career.

    Professor…..a professional investigation would already have those full and complete Statements….signed and sworn per 18 USC 1001 False Statement.

    Where are they? Were they interviewed? Did they provide a Statement? What was in those two Statements?

    The Secret Service went public and stated the Committee did not run Hutchinson’s Testimony by them before releasing it to the Public……why would they say that?

    Lots of questions about this “investigation”….and everyone of them demand answering.

    Separate issue…..did the Committee lie about Klulowski’s two Depositions?

    Did they ignore and/or lie about the contents of all the documents, texts, etc….he provided the committee?

    Will the Committee publish the full texts of those two Depositions and make. public all of the documents he provided them?

    Professor….don’t get lost looking at Trees….there is a huge Forest behind them that needs looking at.

    1. Ralph Chappell, you forget. The president’s orders are not always absolute. You don’t just blindly obey orders you know they compromise safety.

      The secret service number one job is to keep the president safe. The situation at the Capitol was not secure and no secret service agents would allow the president to leave a secure area. They CAN refuse certain orders from the president. If Trump told one agent to kill a protester for no reason that agent is obligated to refuse. He can’t commit murder for the president. Right?

      So if Trump was demanding to be taken to the Capitol where the situation was deteriorating into violence AND they didn’t have enough resources to protect the president at the location they certainly had every reason to deny the president’s request.

      The president is not allowed to drive either. No matter how much a president insists he’s not going to drive outside the secret service protective bubble.

      1. Just this once I am going to respond to you.

        How many protective service details have you served on, planned, and led?

        Answer….NONE.

        You do not know at all what you are talking about.

        Crawl back under that bridge you live under.

      2. They CAN refuse certain orders from the president. The can never refuse a lawful order from the President

        1. I2,

          That simple concept is unimaginable to the rabid Left….that concept applies to all of us….particularly the Military, Law Enforcement, Medical Personnel…and plain ol’ workers in a business somewhere.

          That falls under the notion of Rule of Law….something the Left embrace when it suits them.

          With Fools….there is no since trying to discuss matters of any kind as they just are not capable of reasoned logical thought.

          The notable members of that scourge on this blog and in life are easily identified and ignored….as that is the one punishment they cannot abide….not having anyone to argue with and irritate.

          I broke that Rule by making that single response to Svelaz as I habitually ignore her blather.

  14. This is a perfect example of a congress out of control. How many lawyers are on this committee? This testimony is a perfect example of hearsay. If they really want the truth why not call the agent in question. They don’t want the truth only anything that makes Trump worse than he is.

    1. It’s a hearing, not a court trial. Hearsay is permissible. The actual agents involved can certainly volunteer to testify under oath to clarify the incident.

      All we have heard is sources close to the secret service said agents are will to testify. That’s hearsay too. Until the actual agents themselves speak publicly that they want to clarify they can. However there is a big problem. Most trump supporters and armchair pundits here don’t realize is that these agents rely on anonymity to do their jobs properly. Being exposed and identified by name effectively ends their careers as presidential security detail members. They can never be part of a president’s detail after publicly testifying especially if they contradict their own boss at the SS. There’s a lot at stake for these agents.

  15. I suggest you listen to former SS agent Dan Bongino on his breakdown on what likely occurred. He’s familiar with the agents involved, the vehicles and practices.

    1. “his breakdown on what likely happened?” so completely made up in other words, a guess , a hypothesis? Let him get on the stand and swear under oath, that would be sworn testimony.

  16. In a stretch limo style vehicle, how could someone in the back seat reach the people in the front seat? Is there a protective divider behind the drivers seat? I’ve not seen these questions addressed in any news article. Not saying it didn’t happen, just can’t figure out the physical aspect of how it happened.

  17. Yet another question of whether federal agencies are taking on too power.

    In real terms (and with the help of SCOTUS), federal agents are effectively immune from prosecution.

    Maybe not immune from the revenge of fellow bureaucrats, but certainly immune for justice when they abuse ordinary citizens.

  18. Trump being Trump, I think it would have the situation better. He would have kept the focus on himself. He knows how to work a crowd.

    1. Have you ever seen Trump calm a crowd down? You must be thinking of a different Trump, though I can’t think of any Trump associated with the White House that would have been helpful.

      1. No. I have you ever seen a Trump turn into a riot? and before you answer, on January 6th the Trump rally part ended before the riot

        1. Here’s a number of examples of Trump-incited-violence, some violence he downplayed after the fact (Charlottesville). BTW, some of the violent actors always planned to skip the rally and headed straight to the Capitol. That was always their plan, the question is, was it part of a larger Guiliani, Flynn, Bannon. and Trump plan?

            1. I’m answering the questions asked. Excuse me, I can’t tell, are you the same “Someone” who asked about Trump rallies and riots or are you a different “Someone.” It’s hard to tell with all the people using the same alias.

    2. What’s interesting is the assumption that if Trump went to the Capital things would have been worse. What if he went and subdued the crowd? What if he went and cajoled the protesters to remain peaceful? Would that have happened? I don’t know. Does anyone else know for sure? One thing that is certain is that in this tumultuous time, America has become a nation of mind readers.

  19. Confused….this is not your usual crisp, linear assessment….more like a diseased exercise in mental Masturbationen….this Henderson loser has plenty of motive to hearsay the hell out of this idiocy….usually you stay at the bottom of the rollercoaster and watch the ride, not actively get on and vomit for all the world to see. I guess one should not surprised, when you have a pet rattlesnake don’t be surprised if it bites. This is all libturd poppycock

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