Former President Trump's deputy chief of staff for operations, Anthony Ornato, has announced his retirement only two days before a scheduled interview about the Jan. 6 riot with Inspector General investigators, the Intercept reports. Ornato sent an email to the deputy director of the Secret Service giving notice of his retirement after 25 years of service. After multiple attempts over several months to arrange an interview with the Department of Homeland Security, Ornato had finally agreed to it, and it was slated for August 31.
Ornato still plans to attend the interview, but he will be considered a private citizen, so the investigators won't have testimonial subpoena to force his cooperation. On Jan. 6, Ornato had allegedly sought to relocate Mike Pence to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, which could have delayed the certification of the 2020 presidential election. According to testimony from Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson to the House January 6 committee, Ornato told her that he was in the car with Trump when the president demanded to be driven to the Capitol, against advice, and allegedly lunged for the steering wheel. Ornato has reportedly met with the January 6 committee twice, in January and March, as part of its investigation, discussing Trump’s knowledge of Pence’s location during the unrest on January 6.