More likely, Pat Cipollone is more like the John Dean of this “mess,” contrary to Ty Cobb’s view. Mark Meadows had a role that seems more messy in terms of contacts with the Georgian secretary of state as well as the fake voters plot. There are rocks and hard places ahead of us.
Pat A. Cipollone, the White House lawyer under former President Donald J. Trump who tried to stop some of his most extreme efforts to nullify the 2020 election, has been subpoenaed by a grand jury federal investigating activities leading up to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, a person familiar with the subpoena said.
It was unclear which grand jury had called Mr. Cipollone to testify as a witness. Two are known to hear evidence and testimony – one examining the scheme of some of Mr Trump’s lawyers and advisers to collate lists of voters who allegedly falsely claim that Mr Trump was the real winner of the election , and another focused on the events of January 6.
But Mr. Cipollone is the most senior White House official working for Mr. Trump during his final days in office, who is known to have been called to testify by federal investigators.
He was in the West Wing when Mr. Trump’s supporters violently stormed the Capitol and the president repeatedly refused to cancel them. Mr. Cipollone also attended several meetings in the run-up to the riot in which Mr. Trump and his allies discussed how they could cancel the election and keep him in power.
Mr. Cipollone’s appearance was requested at a time when federal prosecutors are focusing their attention on Mr. Trump’s conduct, not just the people who were advising him.
In recent weeks, investigators have questioned witnesses about Mr. Trump and his actions, including people who worked at the White House. Two former senior advisers to Vice President Mike Pence — his chief of staff, Marc Short, and his chief counsel, Greg Jacob — recently testified before one of the grand juries, according to people familiar with their appearances.
Given the nature of Mr. Cipollone’s work, it was unclear how much information he would provide. He was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot and the events that helped precipitate it, and sat down for a transcribed and recorded interview.
But some terms were discussed in advance, and Mr. Cipollone, citing attorney-client and executive privilege, declined to discuss specific conversations with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cipollone witnessed some of the most significant moments of Mr. Trump’s push to overturn the election results, including discussions of the seizure of voting machines, interference in the Justice Department and the sending fake letters to state officials about voter fraud.
Former White House attorney Ty Cobb says Meadows is ‘perfectly positioned to be the John Dean of this mess’, referring to the former aide to Richard Nixon who offered crucial public testimony during the hearings of Watergate.
“The reason [Meadows] is valuable is also why he is in danger: he was basically on Trump’s right-hand side throughout all of these exercises and participated in key meetings and phone calls,” Cobb said.
Still, according to a source familiar with the relationship, Trump and Meadows have spoken to each other on several occasions. Another source close to Trump described their relationship as ‘not the same as it once was’ while serving in the White House, but insisted they still maintained a relationship, even though Trump complained of Meadows in his recent conversations with other allies.
(CNN) Former President Donald Trump’s legal team is in direct communication with Justice Department officials, the first sign of talks between the two sides as the criminal investigation into January 6, 2021, is accelerating, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
The talks revolve around whether Trump would be able to shield conversations he had while chairman from federal investigators.
Over the past few weeks, investigators have aggressively entered Trump’s orbit, subpoenaing former top White House officials, focusing on efforts to nullify the 2020 election and running searches for lawyers who sought to assist these efforts.
The Trump team’s discussions are taking place with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., which is leading the investigation, and its lead Jan. 6 prosecutor, Thomas Windom, the sources said. The conversations have not been previously reported.
At this point, the conversations are mostly about whether communications witnesses from Trump’s west wing had with the former president can be withheld from a federal criminal grand jury under Trump’s claims on the executive privilege, the people said.The Justice Department anticipated a court battle with Trump over executive privilege. The question arose as grand jury subpoenas were issued to two former White House officials council office officials and Chief Counsel and Chief of Staff to former Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump’s legal defense team has warned him that indictments are possible, sources told CNN.