US Capitol Riot Panel Subpoenas White House Counsel Under Trump

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) – A congressional panel investigating the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 announced on Wednesday that it has subpoenaed former President Donald Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify about Trump’s activities that day. from body to body.

The subpoena seeking a statement from Cipollone followed dramatic public testimony Tuesday from a former White House aide, who told the panel that Cipollone had warned him they could face “every crime imaginable” if Trump went to Capitol Hill on January 6 after delivering a fiery rally speech to his supporters.

“The Select Committee’s investigation has revealed evidence that Mr. Cipollone repeatedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump’s activities on January 6 and in the preceding days,” the panel said in a statement.

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“Any concerns Mr. Cipollone has about the institutional prerogatives of the position he previously held are clearly outweighed by the need for his testimony,” the committee said.

Cipollone could not be immediately reached for comment.

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the committee Tuesday that Trump wanted to leave the rally for the Capitol and grabbed the wheel of the presidential armored van when he learned that the Service Secret would. he didn’t take him to the Capitol, where thousands of his followers rioted.

“We’re going to be charged with every crime imaginable,” Hutchinson said Cipollone told him if Trump went to Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.

“‘We need to make sure this doesn’t happen, it would be a really terrible idea for us. We have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day,'” Cipollone said, Hutchinson testified.

But the investigation faced questions Wednesday about what steps it had taken to corroborate Hutchinson’s account that Trump had trouble with Secret Service agents.

Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, a top Secret Service official, told him that Trump, a Republican, had gotten into trouble with agents after giving a fiery speech to supporters outside the White House that morning in which he repeatedly falsely blamed the widespread fraud due to his electoral defeat. Democrat Joe Biden. read more

The US media, citing Secret Service sources, said Trump’s security chief, Robert Engel, and the driver of the car were prepared to question Hutchinson’s testimony that Trump had tried to grab the wheel.

Neither Engel nor the driver made public statements on Wednesday. Trump on Tuesday denied taking the wheel.

On January 6, a US House committee aide declined to answer questions about whether the committee had already interviewed Secret Service agents or other officials with firsthand knowledge of the incident Hutchinson described.

“Ms. Hutchinson stands behind all of the testimony she gave yesterday, under oath, to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol,” her attorneys Jody Hunt and William Jordan said in a statement Wednesday by the newspaper. night.

Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wednesday that the committee had not sought to confirm the details of Hutchinson’s testimony in the 10 days before the hearing, which was scheduled unusually quickly. The Secret Service in a statement Tuesday said it was cooperating with the committee.

Guglielmi did not immediately respond to questions about the meaning of the 10 days or whether the committee previously contacted the agency to discuss Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6.

The riot was an attempt to prevent Congress, led by Vice President Mike Pence, from certifying Biden’s election.

“If it’s true that the Secret Service denies the accusations against President Trump of lashing out and assaulting officers, then the story is actually spreading gossip that hasn’t come to fruition,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday. “The committee, with a little bit of effort, could have told the other side of the story, but they decided NOT to because they wanted sensational headlines.”

The nine-member Jan. 6 caucus is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans.

Other revelations in Hutchinson’s testimony have not been disputed by Trump supporters. These included Trump’s knowledge, even approval, that his supporters walked through Washington heavily armed on January 6 and that he had no qualms about rioters calling for Pence to be hanged.

Hutchinson also testified that Trump was known for his White House outbursts that left food splattered on the walls and plates overturned.

Also Wednesday, an attorney for Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, demanded that the committee provide better “justification” for seeking her testimony.

Earlier this month, Thomas told the Daily Caller that she was eager to “clear up misconceptions” about her activism in conservative political circles and her attendance at Trump’s January 6 rally. read more

As a former Meadows deputy, Hutchinson, now 26, was a constant presence among White House staff in the final months of 2020, frequently flying aboard Air Force One, being friendly with staff and with the details of the Trump’s Secret Service. His office was a 10-second walk from the President’s Oval Office.

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Information from Richard Cowan; Additional reporting by Rami Ayyub, Eric Beech, Steve Holland, Doina Chiacu, and Rose Horowitch; Edited by Scott Malone, Mary Milliken, Howard Goller, and Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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