Tony Ornato, who was TFG’s head of US Secret Service detail, announced his retirement from the agency after 25 years of service, effective Monday at the close of business.
“I did retire today to pursue a career in the private sector. I retired from the US Secret Service after more than 25 years of faithful service to my country, including serving the past five presidents. I long-planned to retire and have been planning this transition for more than a year.”
The announcement comes two days before Ornato was scheduled to appear for an interview with Department of Homeland Security investigating officials regarding the January 6 Capitol riot.
Ornato had finally agreed to an interview with Department of Homeland Security investigators on August 31 after multiple attempts to arrange one. The DHS inspector general had been attempting to interview Ornato since June 29 and spent all of July and much of August following up.
In an e-mail dated August 24, Ornato stated he would be on vacation and would “circle back” with the investigative team upon his return.
Ornato has indicated that he still intends to attend the interview, according to an email obtained by The Intercept, but since Ornato will be a private citizen, investigators won’t have testimonial subpoena authority to compel his cooperation.
Members of the House Oversight Committee have noted a trend of former officials refusing to be interviewed for investigations into Trump after they quit. In response, the committee introduced the IG Testimonial Subpoena Authority Act, which would give investigators the power to subpoena individuals beyond current federal employees. However, the bill has yet to pass the Senate.
Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson revealed in committee hearings that Ornato did not deny the reports of Trump angrily demanding to be taken to the Capitol during the January 6 riots. Trump reportedly lunged for the wheel of the presidential limo. He has since disputed Hutchinson’s testimony publicly, but not before the investigative committee under oath.