Pat Cipollone, a former White House adviser to Trump, will testify in a closed session before the House Select Committee on January 6 this week, after multiple calls for his testimony from committee members.
Cipollone, who served as former President Donald Trump’s chief counsel in the White House from 2019 until the end of his term in January 2021, had previously met with the committee on an informal basis, but has now agreed to a written interview with selected members of the committee. and investigators.
Although his testimony would not be given in a public place, the practice of the Select Committee was to record video interviews with witnesses for use in public hearings.
The testimony of a former White House attorney could shed light on Trump’s behavior during the 187 minutes between the storming of the US Capitol by a rioting mob of supporters and when the building was cleared by law enforcement and the National Guard.
Another former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, previously told the select committee that Cipollone had vehemently opposed Mr. Trump’s plans to join his supporters in a march to the Capitol after a speech near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, today. Congress was scheduled to meet in joint session to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
According to Ms Hutchinson, Cipollone warned that Trump could expose himself and his aides to charges of “every crime imaginable” if he made the 1.8-mile journey from the White House to the Capitol.
Other witnesses testified that Cipollone also opposed a scheme under which Trump was supposed to appoint one of his loyalists, Jeffrey Clark, to head the Justice Department to enable Mr. Clark to send letters to lawmakers in swing states won by Biden, advising them to take action. To scrap their states’ electoral votes and give them to Mr. Trump instead.
The plan collapsed after the Justice Department leadership informed Mr. Trump that they would resign collectivelywith the approval of Mr. Cipollone.
Additional reporting by agencies