Former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating last year’s Capitol riot as well as President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election result, according to a new report.
Sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed the subpoena to ABC News, adding that Cipollone’s legal team is expecting to engage in negotiations regarding an appearance — as they did when he spoke with the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack earlier this year.
The committee aired multiple clips from Cipollone’s interview during its series of public hearings, revealing Trump’s inaction during the violence as well as the White House counsel’s skepticism of election fraud claims pushed by the then-president’s private legal team.
At one point, Cipollone told the committee that he and others in the White House had pushed for Trump to demand his supporters leave the Capitol immediately on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021.
“I said people need to be told — there needs to be a public announcement fast that they need to leave the Capitol,” Cipollone said.
“Just to be clear, many people suggested it. Not just me. Many people felt the same way. I’m sure I had conversations with [then-White House chief of staff] Mark [Meadows] about this during the course of the day and expressed my opinion very forcefully.”
This week’s subpoena signals that the Justice Department’s own probe into the aftermath of the 2020 election is heating up. Last month, two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence — Marc Short and Greg Jacob — appeared before a federal grand jury.
Last week, multiple reports indicated the DOJ is going so far as to ask witnesses about their conversations with the former president, his lawyers and other allies.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has not ruled out prosecuting Trump as a result of the probe, revealing last week that his department will “pursue justice without fear or favor.”
“We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable, that’s what we do,” Garland told NBC News.
“We don’t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.”
When pressed on whether Trump potentially becoming a candidate in the 2024 presidential election would affect the decision, Garland reiterated: “We will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer — legitimate, lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”