Ex Trump Lawyer Subpoenaed By Grand Jury In Criminal Probe

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Pat Cipollone, who served as White House counsel in the Trump administration at the time of the Capitol riot, was recently subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating events connected to January 6.

Cipollone was also recently subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, to whom he already testified. Among other elements of his testimony to the panel, Cipollone outlined how he was among those pushing back on the ridiculous, pro-Trump claims of election fraud that circulated in Donald’s circles after Biden was victorious. He also spoke to the committee about an infamous meeting in the Trump White House on December 18, 2020, when outside advisers to the then-commander-in-chief pushed ideas like a federal seizure of voting machines — something Cipollone noted during his testimony had no legal foundation. Other testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson further sketched out some of Cipollone’s actions around the time of the riot. Per Hutchinson, he was concerned about the possibility of somebody facing criminal charges in connection to some of what was going on.

The New York Times reports there are at least two federal grand juries currently working through evidence and testimony related to January 6. One’s focus is the scheme to assemble faked electoral votes for Trump in states Biden won, while the other’s focus is reportedly trained on what happened on January 6 itself — and the publication specifies it’s not immediately clear which grand jury subpoenaed Cipollone. Other figures around Trump who’ve cooperated with Justice Department efforts in this area include Hutchinson and two former top aides to Mike Pence, including Greg Jacob and Marc Short. The department reportedly reached out to Hutchinson after her recent public testimony to the riot panel, raising the apparent possibility the department was also paying attention to Cipollone’s committee testimony.

Meanwhile, Cipollone hasn’t abandoned concerns of executive privilege, which could weigh on what he’s willing to answer for investigators — although it was recently reported elsewhere that Justice Department personnel were preparing for potential court fights over expected invocations of executive privilege from Trump in the context of the department’s investigation into January 6 and surrounding events. Before Short and Jacob were questioned, prosecutors and the duo’s lawyers went over matters the government would be skipping in its questioning connected to potential privilege concerns — although prosecutors evidently held onto the possibility of revisiting the areas of potential concern later. The department recently filed a series of conclusions in a civil lawsuit brought by Mark Meadows basically amounting in part to the stance former advisers to former presidents only maintain a limited level of immunity from investigative efforts, although that opinion wasn’t binding. It was asked for by federal Judge Carl Nichols, who was dealing with Meadows’s case.