Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone’s meeting with the select committee investigating the Jan. 6th insurrection provided “relevant information” for the committee. While he asserted privilege in certain areas, a committee member said in an interview on air Sunday.
“He claimed privilege on conversations that related to the advice he provided directly to the president or conversations with the president,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) stated in an interview with “Meet the Press.” “But I think we still got a lot of relevant information from him, and it provides us another perspective on what was happening in the White House in those weeks running up to Jan. 6th that were so critically important.”
Cipollone conferred with the panel for over eight hours on Friday. An agreement was made for him to sit for a transcribed interview following the committee subpoena late last month.
“I think there was a lot of information that fit into this bigger puzzle that we’re putting together,” Murphy said. “And we have different voices telling about the same meeting and more or less telling the same narrative.”
“The overall message that we have been gathering out of all of these witnesses is that the president knew he had lost the election, or that his advisers had told him he had lost the election, and that he was casting about for ways in which he could retain power and remain the president,” she added.
As lead White House attorney, Cipollone could be a pivotal source of information on Trump and his allies’ attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. In her stunning testimony last month, for example, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson stated that Cipollone advised of legal exposure if Trump went to the Capitol with his band of Trumpsters on Jan. 6th.
Murphy allowed as to how the select committee was able to get Cipollone “to confirm the concerns that he did have” about activities to subvert the election outcome.
“He made very clear that he took the side of many of the folks that you’ve already seen come before the committee, and was asserting that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the election was not free and fair,” Murphy said.
When asked if Cipollone’s testimony will be put forward publicly this week, Murphy said, “I imagine that you will be hearing things from Mr. Cipollone, but also from others that were in the White House.”
The committee is set to hold a hearing Tuesday on the alignment between Trump world and fascist groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys around Jan. 6th. There may be another hearing this week; however, that has not been announced by the committee yet.
Murphy is presumed to be the point man on Tuesday’s hearing along with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). The Maryland Democrat remarked Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that they intend to focus on a Trump tweet from December 2020 proactively calling on people to join the Jan. 6th protests at the Capitol. Raskin observed that the tweet came shortly after the president met with co-conspirators at the White House about plots to reverse the election outcome.
“People will hear the story of that tweet and then the explosive effects it had in Trump world and specifically among the domestic violence extremist groups, the most dangerous political extremists in the country at that point,” Raskin said.
Raskin further observed that they also planned to delve into the “fundamental importance” of a Dec. 18, 2020, White House meeting where Trump’s co-conspirators “came in to try to urge several new courses of action, including the seizure of voting machines around the country.”
Trump’s allies, such as Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, were part of that discussion, Raskin observed, while “against this ‘team crazy’ were an inside group of lawyers who essentially wanted the president at that point to acknowledge that he had lost the election and were far more willing to accept the reality of his defeat.”
The select panel did not expect to produce witnesses who attended the meeting speaking publicly about it on Tuesday, Raskin said; however, they were going to present other evidence.
POLITICO has previously reported that former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who had worked with Giuliani on his efforts to find voter fraud, told the select panel that retired Army colonel Phil Waldron had first floated the suggestion of Trump proclaiming an executive order to seize the voting machines.