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Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Pat Cipollone, Trump’s White House Counsel

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol issued a subpoena Wednesday for the testimony of Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel to President Donald J. Trump who repeatedly fought again towards excessive plans to overturn the 2020 election, after he resisted testifying publicly.

In an announcement accompanying the subpoena, the leaders of the committee stated they have been searching for Mr. Cipollone’s deposition testimony as a result of investigators wanted to “hear from him on the record, as other former White House counsels have done in other congressional investigations.”

The committee stated it was searching for details about Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his involvement in plans to submit false slates of electors to Congress and intervene with the Justice Department.

The subpoena of a White House counsel, a uncommon step for a congressional committee, despatched a transparent sign of the aggressive ways the panel is prepared to make use of to attempt to pressure cooperation of even the White House’s former high lawyer, who almost certainly may invoke attorney-client privilege in response to many questions. But the testimony of Mr. Cipollone — who participated in key conversations on Jan. 6 and all through Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, and is understood to have doubted the legality of lots of these plans — may show consequential.

The committee has at occasions used the leverage a subpoena creates to pressure witnesses to barter a deal for his or her cooperation. Discussions in regards to the scope of a doable look are anticipated to start quickly.

“Any concerns Mr. Cipollone has about the institutional prerogatives of the office he previously held are clearly outweighed by the need for his testimony,” Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, and Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, stated in an announcement.

A lawyer acquainted with Mr. Cipollone’s deliberations, who was not approved to talk for the file, stated that the subpoena was wanted earlier than the previous White House counsel may contemplate transcribed testimony earlier than the committee, and that Mr. Cipollone would now consider issues of privilege as acceptable.

In April, Mr. Cipollone and Patrick F. Philbin, who was his deputy, met separately with the panel, two individuals acquainted with the periods stated, talking on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to reveal the conferences.

At the time, the 2 males weren’t underneath oath, and their interviews weren’t transcribed. Since then, Mr. Cipollone has resisted testifying publicly, regardless of calls from the committee for him to take action.

(*6*) Ms. Cheney introduced from the dais at a listening to final week. “He should appear before this committee, and we are working to secure his testimony.”

At a hearing on Tuesday, the committee heard testimony from a former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, who described Mr. Cipollone’s pivotal position in the course of the occasions of Jan. 6.

“Mark, we need to do something more,” Ms. Hutchinson stated she heard Mr. Cipollone inform Mark Meadows, the White House chief of employees, on Jan. 6 as Mr. Trump’s supporters entered the Capitol. “They’re literally calling for the vice president to be f-ing hung.”

“You heard him, Pat,” she stated Mr. Meadows responded. “He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”

Ms. Hutchinson additionally testified that Mr. Cipollone objected to recommendations that employees members enable Mr. Trump to affix a crowd of his supporters marching to the Capitol. “We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable,” Ms. Hutchinson stated Mr. Cipollone informed her.

Two individuals acquainted with Mr. Cipollone’s schedule on Jan. 6 stated he arrived late to the White House that day.

Mr. Cipollone was additionally current for vital moments within the buildup to the storming of the Capitol, together with key conversations and conferences by which Mr. Trump mentioned utilizing the powers of his workplace to attempt to overturn the election.

Mr. Cipollone, who defended Mr. Trump throughout his first impeachment trial, pushed again towards a few of the most excessive plans the president thought-about. He participated in conferences with Trump allies who have been pressing for the military to seize voting machines and by which Attorney General William P. Barr offered his resignation after making clear that the Justice Department had found no widespread fraud within the 2020 election.

Mr. Cipollone, who was aligned with Mr. Barr and a lawyer working within the White House named Eric Herschmann, additionally tried to steer Mr. Trump to cease pursuing baseless claims of fraud. He balked at appearing on a plan proposed by Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department lawyer who had needed to distribute official letters to state legislatures falsely alerting them that the election may need been stolen and urging them to rethink licensed outcomes.

“That letter that this guy wants to send — that letter is a murder-suicide pact,” Mr. Cipollone informed Mr. Trump, in line with testimony the panel has obtained. “It’s going to damage everyone who touches it. And we should have nothing to do with that letter. I don’t ever want to see that letter again.”

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