Trump PACs paid over $2 million to law firms representing Jan. 6 witnesses

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is sworn in to testify as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Political committees controlled by former President Trump have paid more than $2 million to law firms whose attorneys represented Jan. 6 committee witnesses, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Law firms connected to former White House lawyer Stefan Passantino, who previously represented committee witness Cassidy Hutchinson, were the top recipients, receiving $1.6 million from Trump-connected PACs this year.

CNN first reported the tally and noted that the payments raise the question of whether Trump is using his large pool of donor funds to bankroll lawyers who will encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot and Trump’s efforts to override the 2020 election. 

Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, increased her cooperation with the panel and eventually provided key testimony only after she parted ways with Passantino. 

“She’s an important example of one who decided to get a new lawyer and then to come back and testify, and obviously, if there are witnesses out there who believe that their lawyer is working at cross purposes with their obligation to tell the truth, they should work to rectify it,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the Jan. 6 panel, told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

It’s unclear whether the legal fees paid by the Trump PACs went toward representing Jan. 6 committee witnesses or were used for other purposes. Other recipients include Abel Bean Law, which represents Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich, and JPRowley Law, which has represented former White House adviser Peter Navarro.

Trump’s post-election fundraising has emerged as a critical line of inquiry for the Jan. 6 committee. The former president’s Save America PAC and Make America Great Again PAC have raised a combined $120 million from donors during the 2022 election cycle.

“Some of that money is being used to pay for lawyers for witnesses. And it’s not clear that that arrangement is one that is without coercion potential for some of those witnesses,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), another committee member, told CNN.

Tags committee investigation Jamie Raskin Jan. 6 law firms payments Peter Navarro Trump Zoe Lofgren

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