Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Trump WH attorney Cipollone meets with 1/6 of the panel for 8 hours

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Former White House attorney Pat Cipollone met for a private interview with the Jan. 6 committee for about eight hours on Friday about his role in trying to stop then-President Donald Trump from challenging the 2020 presidential election and join the raging mob. who besieged the Capitol.

Cipollone, once a staunch presidential confidant who defended Trump during his first impeachment trial, was reluctant to formally appear for an official interview. Like other former White House officials, it is possible that he claimed his advice from the Republican president as inside information that he was unwilling to share with the committee.

It was unclear after he left the Capitol building on Friday afternoon whether he remained within those parameters during the hour-long interview.

Cipollone has been a wanted witness after the bombastic testimony revealed his seemingly desperate and last-minute efforts to stop Trump’s actions. The panel was told that he warned that the defeated president would be charged with “every crime imaginable” if he went to Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, trying to prevent Joe Biden’s election certification. Cipollone was subpoenaed for his testimony.

The panel said that Cipollone is “uniquely positioned to testify” in a letter accompanying the subpoena issued last week.

“Mr. Cipollone has repeatedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump’s activities on January 6 and the days prior,” said President Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., in a statement. “While the Select Committee appreciates the earlier informal involvement Cipollone with our investigation, the committee needs to officially hear from him, as other former White House advisers have done in other Congressional investigations.”

Cipollone’s pivotal role came into focus during a surprise committee hearing last week, when former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described her repeated efforts to stop Trump from joining the crowd on Capitol Hill.

Hutchinson said Cipollone asked her to persuade her boss, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, not to let Trump go to Capitol Hill.

Hutchinson testified that he was told that Trump was irate when he was prevented by his security team from going to the Capitol that day. The Secret Service disputed parts of her account detailing Trump’s actions when she said he attacked the driver in the presidential motorcade.

Cipollone also attended a key meeting on the Sunday before the January 6 attack with Justice Department officials at the White House threatening to resign if Trump went ahead with plans to install a new interim attorney general who would pursue his false allegations of fraud. electoral. .

A witness testified to the committee that during that meeting Cipollone referred to a proposed letter making false claims about electoral fraud as a “murder-suicide pact”.

Cipollone and his attorney, Michael Purpura, who also worked in the Trump White House, did not respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this week, Trump responded to news of Cipollone’s cooperation on his social media platform, Truth Social, calling it bad for the country.

“Why would a future president of the United States want to have frank and important conversations with his White House attorney if he thought there was a slim chance that this person, essentially acting as an ‘advocate’ for the country, could one day be brought before an openly hostile party committee in Congress,” the former president said.


Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.


For full coverage of the January 6 hearings, visit

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