Tony Ornato, the assistant director of the Secret Service, who was at the center of the January 6 hearings held by the House select committee that is investigating the 2020 Capitol attack, is stepping down from his role.

“I did retire today to pursue a career in the private sector. I retired from the U.S. 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,” Ornato told CNN after the news of his resignation was made public.

It is unclear what job he has taken.

Cassidy Hutchinson, who was formerly a top aid to ex-President Donald Trump‘s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, became one of the hearings’ most memorable figures as she detailed Trump’s anger following the 2020 election.


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Hutchinson testified about a conversation she had with Ornato, in which the top security official told her that Trump was “irate” when agent Robert Engle told him he could not go to the Capitol to be with his supporters.

“I am the fucking president. Take me up to the Capitol now,” the president said, according to Hutchinson, who testified that she had heard it from Ornato.

Ornato has said that he is willing to dispute Hutchinson’s account, but has not yet done so.

He is seen as a central figure in the events of January 6 and has met with the committee two times. At the time of the Capitol riots, he served as Trump’s deputy chief of staff.

“I plan to continue cooperating with the January 6th committee and all other related investigations,” Ornato added. “At this point, I am not prepared to make any other comments.”

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