Trump White House Attorney Pat Cipollone Appears Before Jan 6 Grand Jury

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correction

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Cassidy Hutchinson as a former aide to Trump White House adviser Pat Cipollone. She was an aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The article has been corrected.

Former Trump White House attorney Pat Cipollone appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington on Friday to investigate the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack, in which he spent 2½ hours behind closed doors with jurors and prosecutors.

Cipollone became the top White House aide known to appear before the grand jury in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into attempts to reverse the 2020 election results, including the actions of President Donald Trump, which culminated in the siege of Congress as lawmakers gathered to confirm President Biden’s 2020 election victory. Cipollone’s deputy counsel Pat Philbin was set to appear later Friday.

The two attorneys received a subpoena from the federal grand jury about four weeks ago for testimony and documents about that day and the events leading up to it, CNN first reported. Their expected appearance on Friday was reported by ABC News, and it followed grand jury appearances in July by former chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, Marc Short, and attorney Greg Jacob.

It was not immediately clear what Cipollone or Philbin would discuss with the grand jury, or whether their testimony would avoid private presidential communications that are usually subject to the prerogative of the executive and the attorney client.

Cipollone and his attorney Michael M. Purpura entered the federal courthouse in Washington shortly after 9:30 a.m., where they were greeted by Chief Prosecutor Thomas Windom and escorted to an elevator leading to the grand jury area. Cipollone left the building alone shortly after the grand jurors had lunch around noon.

Purpura also represents Philbin, who entered the courthouse just before 12:30pm

Justice Dept investigates Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 criminal investigation

Cipollone was the top White House attorney at the end of the Trump administration, and he has emerged in several public accounts as a star witness and critic of the then-president’s conversations with private attorneys and others in his inner circle. that reportedly to replace Trump allies with certified voters from some states that Joe Biden won; pressure the Justice Department to falsely claim that the elections were rigged with fraudulent ballots; or propose the seizure of voting machines by the U.S. Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, or other federal officials.

In a videotaped testimony played this summer during televised hearings held by the selected House committee investigating the events leading up to the Capitol, Cipollone told investigators that he strongly opposed efforts by Trump and outside advisers to undo the election, and that he, like former Trump Attorney General William P. Barr, did not believe there was enough fraud to have the outcome of Biden’s victory in any state. affected.

For example, at a nighttime White House rally on Dec. 18, 2020, which Cipollone called “unhinged,” he said election attorney Sidney Powell and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn showed a “general disregard for supporting what you actually say with facts.” ”

Of the conspiracy-fueled idea of ​​confiscating voting machines, Cipollone recalled telling Powell, “I don’t understand why we even have to tell you why that’s a bad idea. It’s a terrible idea for the country.”

Cipollone has also been described as opposing sending a letter drafted by attorney Jeffrey Bossert Clark to officials in Georgia in which he falsely stated that the Justice Department had “identified significant concerns that the election results in multiple states may have affected.” affected”.

Cipollone told Trump that Clark’s proposed letter was “a murder-suicide pact” that would “harm anyone who touches it,” according to a statement from then-Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue. In a Dec. 27, 2020 appeal, witnesses said Trump told Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen that he wanted the department to say there was significant electoral fraud, and said he was ready to oust Rosen and replace him with Clark, who’s willing to make that claim.

“Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Trump told Rosen, according to notes of the conversation reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump withdrew after Rosen, Donoghue and Cipollone refused, saying they and other senior government lawyers would resign en masse, participants said.

Cipollone answered questions for the Jan. 6 committee eight hours earlier this year, following a compelling testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, who described her boss as one of the last firewalls blocking Trump’s efforts. blocked the election results.

She testified that on the morning of January 6, Cipollone warned her with words she paraphrased like, “Please make sure we don’t go to the Capitol, Cassidy. Stay in touch with me. We will be charged with every crime imaginable if we let that move happen.” ”

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