Trump was warned Stop the Steal rally attendees carried prohibited items on Jan. 6: report

The head of former President Donald Trump’s Secret Service detail notified him that some members of the crowd at his Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally were carrying prohibited items, his driver testified to Congress.

According to Politico, “The driver, who remains unidentified, drove Trump to and from his rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6. After the rally, Trump’s supporters — riled up by his fervid speech — marched down the street, where Congress was attempting to certify the results of the 2020 election. The driver described Trump’s exchange that day with his lead Secret Service agent, Robert Engel, in testimony he gave in November 2022 to the House Jan. 6 select committee.”

This testimony was not previously public, with the Department of Homeland Security only making it available this week.

“The driver couldn’t recall whether Engel told Trump about the security risks before his rally speech — when Trump urged the crowd he assembled to march on the Capitol and ‘fight like hell’ to persuade Congress to deny Biden the presidency — or shortly after,” noted the report.

“The driver also recalled that Engel didn’t explicitly say members of the crowd were carrying weapons; rather, he said Engel informed Trump that members of the crowd had items that were not allowed through the magnetometers.”

This information could potentially help special counsel Jack Smith prove Trump’s state of mind in the federal election interference case, establishing that he knew his supporters had violent intentions as he urged them to “fight,” according to the report.

The crowd gathering at Trump’s rally was distinct from the mob that attacked the Capitol on the other side of the National Mall; however, many attendees of the former joined in the attack.

Separately, White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson contends Trump physically wrestled with a Secret Service agent for control of his SUV when told he couldn’t join the crowd at the Capitol, although the former president has denied this.

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