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Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone Meets With Jan. 6 Panel


WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone arrived Friday on Capitol Hill for a non-public interview with the Jan. 6 committee about his role trying to forestall then-President Donald Trump from difficult the 2020 presidential election and joining the violent mob that laid siege to the Capitol.

Cipollone had been a sought-after witness after bombshell testimony revealed his apparently desperate and last-ditch efforts to forestall Trump’s actions. The panel was told he warned the defeated president can be charged with “every crime conceivable” if he went to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, attempting to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election. He was subpoenaed for his testimony.

However the conservative attorney, once a staunch presidential confidant who had defended Trump during his first impeachment trial, had been reluctant to seem formally for an on-record interview. Like other former White House officials, he could claim his counsel to the Republican president is privileged information he’s unwilling to share.

The panel said Cipollone is “uniquely positioned to testify” in a letter accompanying the subpoena issued last week.

“Mr. Cipollone repeatedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump’s activities on January sixth and in the times that preceded,” Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in an announcement. “While the Select Committee appreciates Mr. Cipollone’s earlier informal engagement with our investigation, the committee needs to listen to from him on the record, as other former White House counsels have done in other congressional investigations.”

Cipollone’s central role got here into focus during a surprise committee hearing last week when former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described his repeated efforts to stop Trump from joining the mob on the Capitol.

Hutchinson said Cipollone urged her to steer her boss, chief of staff Mark Meadows, to not let Trump go to the Capitol.

Hutchinson testified that she was told Trump was irate when he was ultimately prevented by his security team from going to the Capitol that day. The Secret Service has disputed parts of her account detailing Trump’s actions when she said he lashed out at the motive force within the presidential motorcade.

Cipollone was also a part of a key meeting on the Sunday before the Jan. 6 attack with Justice Department officials on the White House threatening to resign if Trump went ahead with plans to put in a recent acting attorney general who would pursue his false claims of voter fraud.

Cipollone and his lawyer, Michael Purpura, who also worked on the Trump White House, didn’t reply to requests for comment.

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