Saturday, December 03, 2022

Two Trump White House lawyers met with investigators on Jan. 6

Former President Donald J. Two of Trump’s top White House lawyers met with the House committee investigating the Capitol attack on Wednesday after Mr Trump authorized them to join the panel, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Former White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone and his deputy Patrick F. Philbin met separately with the panel, two people familiar with Sessions said on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to disclose. meetings

It was not immediately clear how much information Mr Cipollone and Mr Philbin had provided to the committee or what they said, but they were present for key moments in the formation of the Capitol storming on January 6, 2021, including the decisive . The talks and meetings in which Mr Trump discussed using the powers of his office to try to reverse the election.

Their collaboration, first reported by Politico, connected more than two dozen White House officials who agreed to take the committee’s questions.

Both were not under oath and their interviews were not written, but the men could return later for a formal interview or confession, one of the people said, describing it as a specific process investigators determined they could take. Whom do you want to question?

The interview came after the committee learned from the National Archives that lawmakers would receive additional documents from the Trump White House after President Biden refused to claim executive privileges on him.

In a letter on Wednesday, National Archives David S. Ferreiro told Trump that he would submit a new set of records to the committee within 15 days “unless prohibited by court order.” Mr Trump wrote to the archives in February to say he claimed executive privilege on more than 1,000 documents in his possession.

In recent days, the committee has questioned Mr Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, both former White House advisers. In written interviews, he testified what lawmakers described as “helpful”.

Mr Trump told The Washington Post that he had offered “privileges” to his daughter and son-in-law, but they declined it. The courts have rejected Mr Trump’s claims of executive privilege, and the Biden White House has refused to invite the materials and witnesses it sought for a January 6 investigation, including the testimony of Mrs Trump and Mr Kushner. is included.

The panel has also heard from John McEnty, who served as Mr. Trump’s chief of staff for the presidency; Anthony M. Ornato, former head of White House operations; and Eric Hershman, White House attorney. Another top adviser, Stephen Miller, was set to testify Thursday, according to another person familiar with the matter, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr Miller was summoned late last year and had lengthy talks to appear before him.

Mr Cipollone, who defended Mr Trump during his first impeachment trial, pushed back against some of the most extreme plans the president has ever considered to reverse the election. He attended meetings with Trump aides who were pressuring the military to seize voting machines and in which Attorney General William P. Barr offered his resignation after clarifying that the Justice Department had found no widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

Mr Cipollone also tried to persuade Mr Trump to stop pursuing unsubstantiated claims of fraud. He insisted on following a plan proposed by Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark, who wanted to distribute official letters to several state legislatures, falsely warning them that the election could be plagiarized and urging to reconsider the proven results. Had been.

“The letter this man wants to send – that letter is a murder-suicide pact,” Cipollone told Trump, according to testimony received from the panel. “It will harm everyone who touches it. And we should have nothing to do with that letter. I never want to see that letter again.”

Mr. Philbin, a senior Justice Department attorney under President George W. Bush, was also present for the meeting at which Mr. Barr offered to resign.

The Supreme Court has ordered the National Archives to hand over Mr Philbin’s White House records to committee, including a memo about possible lawsuits against several states that Mr Biden won in the 2020 election. They also included a series of emails from a state official in a county in Michigan about election-related issues and talks over alleged election irregularities.

And they include plans by Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, and lawyer Sidney Powell to declare that there was foreign influence in the election, with the goal of allowing Mr. Trump to exercise powers. The Defense Department will seize the voting machine and get the votes recounted.

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