A federal grand jury has reportedly subpoenaed former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone as the Department of Justice conducts its probe into the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
First reported by ABC News, the unnamed sources cited were unclear about what track of the investigation Cipollone may have been asked to testify about, but it is widely reported there are two major prongs the Justice Department is reviewing: former President Donald Trump’s fraudulent gambit to advance fake electors in battleground states and conspiracy to obstruct government proceedings. It is possible the latter could involve seditious conspiracy.
During the hearings, Cipollone’s private testimony punctuated or corroborated other accounts from witnesses who were in close proximity to Trump as the path to Jan. 6 unfurled.
He told the committee how he expressed his concern to Trump that his election fraud claims were not credible. He also urged Trump to concede the victory to now President Joe Biden. On the day of the attack, Cipollone recounted how he pleaded for an “immediate and forceful response, statement, [or] public statement that people need to leave the Capitol now” as Trump idled inside the White House as blood was shed.
Cipollone witnessed discussions where the president and his advisers spoke of seizing voting machines as well as a bid by Trump to effectively capture the Justice Department by having a lackey lawyer at the agency, Jeffrey Clark, send letters to states proclaiming voter fraud where none existed. The attempt only failed after a host of senior-level Justice Department attorneys threatened a mass resignation.
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The request for Cipollone to appear comes as other senior Trump administration officials have testified before a grand jury. Last week, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, the former chief of staff and counsel to ex-Vice President Mike Pence, reportedly went before one. Both Short and Jacob ultimately cooperated with the Jan. 6 committee.
Others in Trump’s circle who advanced efforts to overturn the 2020 election, like attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, and Jenna Ellis have come under increasing scrutiny by the DOJ. Federal agents have already seized Eastman’s phone and raided Clark’s house.
And according to court records, there appears to be some significant overlap: Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom, who appeared on the docket for the Eastman phone warrant, is also leading the department’s probe into the fake electors for Trump scheme.
CNN reported late Wednesday afternoon that Trump’s former deputy counsel, Patrick Philbin, has also been subpoenaed in the DOJ probe of Jan. 6.