The January 6 Committee issued a subpoena to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone on Wednesday, despite the fact that he has already spoken to the committee, a day after testimony by surprise witness Cassidy Hutchinson fell apart.
Hutchinson, a former aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified on Tuesday that she had heard others say that they had heard President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the car in which he was being driven by the Secret Service to reach a Capitol besieged by armed supporters.
Democrats and the media celebrated Hutchinson’s testimony — until the Secret Service and the individuals from whom Hutchinson claimed to have heard the story publicly disputed her claims and said they were prepared to testify under oath.
Other claims also collapsed. Hutchinson claimed to have penned a handwritten draft of Trump’s remarks on the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, but former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann said that he had written it.
Hutchinson also testified that Cipollone had expressed concerns about Trump’s remarks and his desire to visit the Capitol because of the risk of “potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral account.” She also testified that Cipollone had burst into Meadows’ office on Jan. 6 to urge the President to issue a statement after rioters broke into the Capitol, and that he had wanted the president to issue a strong statement condemning violence on January 7, the day following the riot.
Like her other claims, Hutchinson’s allegations were hearsay, not direct evidence.
Moreover, Cipollone may not have been at the White House at all on January 6, according to numerous sources.
Cipollone has already cooperated with the committee voluntarily in closed-door hearings, though the interviews were not under oath and were not transcribed, in deference to concerns about attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.
The committee is issuing a subpoena to Cipollone in an effort to force him to testify under oath — and in public.
It also appears to be attempting to shore up Hutchinson’s testimony by pursuing witnesses who can corroborate her hearsay claims after the fact.
When the Secret Service and others disputed Hutchinson’s testimony, the committee invited them to provide information.
It had not previously reached out to the Secret Service or others Hutchinson had named to verify her sensational allegations.
Other witnesses have said that the committee abused their testimony behind closed doors by releasing misleading excerpts in public hearings.
Cipollone is best known to the public as the leader of Trump’s defense team during his first impeachment trial in 2020.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.