Jeh Johnson concerned that J6 committee is overwhelmed by ‘Lunge’ story

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he was “concerned” that the Jan. 6 select committee may have “gone too far” with a alleged incident involving former President Donald Trump inside a vehicle.

Johnson, who served in the Obama administration, called the committee hearings “a profile of courage among women” and praised the hearing for being “exceptionally well choreographed for the average American’s attention span.” in 2022″.

However, he added, “I’m concerned as a former federal prosecutor in me – it gives you a lot of credibility these days on television – I’m afraid the committee has overstepped the bounds of the incident in the vehicle.”

Johnson was referring to the testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, in which she recounted a story alleging that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the SUV he was riding in and lunged at a Secret Service agent to try to join his supporters on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.

Johnson said of the story, “It was colorful, it was vivid, it was collateral to the central prosecution…and it was second-hand hearsay.”

Trump himself denied the story, and shortly after Hutchinson’s testimony, several establishment news outlets reported that former White House deputy chief of staff and Secret Service agent Tony Ornato , denied that it ever happened and would be prepared to testify under oath to that effect.

Johnson said he would have gone to the source of the story to verify it before making it public.

“The committee may know something the rest of us don’t. But before I go out with the second-hand hearsay, which is going to get a lot of attention, I would like to know what the first-hand witness has to say,” he said.

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd added that Hutchinson’s retelling of the story was actually a “third-hand account.”

“I think by the time she told us the story was technically, we’re on our third draft. It’s a third-hand account,” he said.

“It depends on how you interpret hearsay. But, you know, that testimony would not have been admissible in a courtroom,” Johnson added.

“And as you know, Secret Service agents don’t normally talk about what they see, what they hear from their proteges. I was protected by the Secret Service for three years. And they have to be able to hear and see all kinds of very sensitive things,” he said, casting further doubt on Hutchinson’s testimony.

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