Pat Cipollone set to testify at Jan. 6 hearing

The former White House counsel who was subpoenaed last week is scheduled to testify on Friday.

WASHINGTON — Pat Cipollone, Donald Trump’s former White House counsel, is scheduled to testify Friday before the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Cipollone, whose reported opposition to Trump’s plans to reverse his 2020 election defeat has made him a long-sought and potentially insightful witness, was summoned to testify by the select committee last week after weeks of public pressure.

The person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations, said Cipollone agreed to appear before the committee for a private, transcribed interview.

As Trump’s top White House Attorney, Cipollone was in the West Wing on Jan. 6, 2021, as well as at key meetings in the tumultuous weeks after the election as Trump and his aides — including Republican lawmakers and attorney Rudy Giuliani — debated and planned ways to contest the election.

The agreement for Cipollone to address the panel follows dramatic testimony last week by former Trump White House adviser Cassidy Hutchinson. The young assistant to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows gave the committee a powerful account of what she had seen and heard over the past few weeks, and presented lawmakers with what is arguably their clearest argument for how Trump or some of his allies could be prosecuted.

RELATED: Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Pat Cipollone, Former WH Counselor

Cipollone is said to have sharply and repeatedly warned Trump and his allies about their efforts to contest the election and threatened to resign when Trump considered a dramatic reshuffle at the top of the Justice Department.

A witness said Cipollone labeled a proposed letter containing false allegations of voter fraud as a “murder-suicide pact.”

But while his interview with the committee could prove to be a breakthrough, it was unclear whether Cipollone would try to scale down his willingness to talk. As the government’s chief attorney, he could argue that some or all of his conversations with Trump are privileged.

Still, the panel of nine believes he is a crucial witness who can give them an even more accurate, first-hand reminder of the numerous and varied efforts by Trump allies to undermine the electoral college, including a strategy to organize so-called alternative electoral colleges for Trump in seven swing states that Biden won. Lawmakers also said Cipollone’s name emerged in a series of private testimonies as a voice of reason against efforts to appoint a loyalist attorney general who has championed false theories about voter fraud and a plan to sideline Trump to the Capitol on January 6 to let his supporters march.

Hutchinson testified last week that days before the Capitol attack, Cipollone warned that there would be “serious legal concerns” about Trump escorting protesters to the Capitol, saying “we need to make sure that doesn’t happen” in the morning of Jan. 6, Cipollone urged Hutchinson to “keep in touch” about possible presidential moves and “please make sure we don’t go to the Capitol, Cassidy.”

When Trump went to the Capitol, Hutchinson would recall Cipollone saying, “We will be charged with every crime imaginable.” He had previously identified obstruction of justice or vote count fraud as possible possibilities, she said.

While Cipollone sat for an informal interview in April, the committee has reiterated that it required his cooperation on the case after receiving evidence he was “uniquely able to testify on.”

“Our evidence shows that Pat Cipollone and his office tried to do the right thing,” Deputy Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, said in a hearing last month. “They tried to stop a number of plans by President Trump for January 6.”

“We think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally,” she added.

RELATED: Judge orders testimony from Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, Trump campaign attorneys, in Fulton County inquest

RELATED: Attorney who left panel Jan. 6 to seek a seat in Missouri’s U.S. Senate as an independent

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/trump-white-house-counsel-pat-cipollone-to-testify-jan-6-panel/507-539b56ea-82f7-4e22-99a3-5aefbb97526f Pat Cipollone set to testify at Jan. 6 hearing

Alley Einstein

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