Whether or not President Donald Trump tried to grab the wheel of a Presidential SUV on 1.6.21 in an attempt to steer the vehicle toward the U.S. Capitol is a matter of…what’s the expression?…small potatoes. Ditto whether or not Trump grabbed “the clavicles” of Secret Service guy Bobby Engel, the head of his security detail. It’s an amusing story and obviously indicative, if true, of Trump being subject to angry, dopey, volatile behavior, which many people have observed and commented upon for years.

But over the last 24 hours Team Trump has focused on Cassidy Hutchinson‘s second-hand recollection of this episode as an attempt to call her credibility into question. There are some out there who actually believe that Hutchinson lied yesterday…”lied“! Soldiers in the pro-Trump attack machine are calling her “Amber Heard II” and “Jussie Smollett.” But there isn’t a hint of fanciful logic supporting the idea that Hutchinson made this up out of whole cloth.

Hutchinson was told this story, she said, on 1.6.21 in the White House office of Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato, and in the presence of Engel, who was “sitting in a chair, just looking somewhat discombobulated and a little lost,” Hutchinson said.

Here’s the pertinent transcript:

LIZ CHENEY: “And was Mr. Engel in the room as Mr. Ornato told you this story?”


LIZ CHENEY: “Did Mr. Engel correct or disagree with any part of this story from Mr. Ornato?”

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: “Mr. Engel did not correct or disagree with any part of the story.”

LIZ CHENEY: “Did Mr. Engel or Mr. Ornato ever after that tell you that what Mr. Ornato had just said was untrue?”

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: “Neither Mr. Ornato nor Mr. Engel told me ever that it was untrue.”

The N.Y. Times is reporting that “Secret Service officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, [have] said that both Mr. Engel and Mr. Ornato would dispute that Mr. Trump tried to grab the wheel of the car or that Mr. Engel was struck.”

Plus The Daily Beast is reporting that the Secret Service was never contacted by the Jan. 6 committee ahead of Hutchison’s testimony.

So what gives?

It would appear that either (a) Hutchinson is half-fibbing, or (b) Ornato and Engel are half-fibbing. But c’mon, no bullshit…what are the odds that Hutchinson would invent the SUV story?

Hutchinson said under oath that Ornato told her the particulars and that Engel was there listening and that Engel didn’t at that moment dispute Ornato’s account. If she was flat-out fabricating Hutchinson could be 100% certain that these guys would step up and say so. Does it make the slightest bit of sense that she would invent this story? To what possible end? She knew she would be immediately busted if she lied, and she’s not apparently the delusional or psychotic type so why would she invent this wild tale?

This is Rashomon, apparently. Check with the ghosts of Akira Kurosawa and/or Martin Ritt. Either Hutchinson is some kind of shifty, side-stepping liar in this instance, or she’s 100% dead certain that Ornato told her about Trump grabbing the wheel and then grabbing Engel’s throat, and has honorably passed this along to the best of her recollection.

Ornato and Engel…who knows? They’ve either persuaded themselves that this particular tale wasn’t passed along quite this way, or perhaps that it’s better for the sake of their own careers and/or the Secret Service’s reputation to dispute the story.

Salon‘s Igor Derysh, posted on 6.29: “Multiple officials who disputed parts of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson‘s testimony to the Jan. 6 committee were seen by some in the Trump administration as the president’s ‘yes men,’ according to Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, who wrote a book about the agency last year.”

I know that it makes no sense at all for Hutchinson to have fabricated the story. What half-sane person would recite a FLAT-OUT LIE on national television, knowing full well that the guy she claimed had told her the story in the first place (plus the guy it happened to and who overheard the original telling) would step right up and call her bluff?

Friendo: “Legally speaking, the limo anecdote presented by Cassidy Hutchinson is hearsay. I mean, it’s the definition of hearsay. That said, Trump is obviously guilty of sedition, treason, and other criminal charges.

“Here’s the problem. The authorities have 10 smoking guns. He is guilty. They need to arrest him. And they need to do it now. It’s our only hope. But they will not do it. He will go free.”

HE: “[Attorney General] Merrick Garland will pussy out?”

Friendo: “Completely. Just look at him…look at his timid, half-terrified face. He’s a man without a dick. He’s a man who brings a knife to a gunfight. We need LBJ; instead, we have Don Knotts. And Biden, who should be giving the orders in all this, is Not LBJ Pt. 2. I would say that Trump’s triumph is all but assured.

“Head-in-the-sand liberals are high on the hearings because they’re treating them like a Broadway show of Watergate nostalgia. But the hearings mean nothing — they mean less than nothing — if they don’t lead to Trump’s arrest.

“Who cares if Trump threw a plate of food or grabbed a steering wheel? Neither of those things are illegal. Liberals, in their delusion, really do seem to think that this is all a movie or something.

“Trump needs to be arrested for — news flash! — breaking the law. Which he did, quite openly, on Election Night, when he announced that he’d won. What more evidence did we need? The hearings have told us absolutely nothing we didn’t know a year and a half ago.”