Cheney amps up pressure for Cipollone to testify
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday renewed her calls for former White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol following testimony detailing his alarm over inaction that day.
“As we heard yesterday, WH counsel Pat Cippollone had significant concerns re. Trump’s Jan 6 activities. It’s time for Mr. Cippollone to testify on the record. Any concerns he has about the institutional interests of his prior office are outweighed by the need for his testimony,” Cheney, the panel’s vice chair, wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to former President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, painted Cipollone in a positive light Tuesday when she became the first White House staffer to testify publicly before the committee.
“Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your effing hands,” Hutchinson said Cipollone warned after learning that rioters had breached the Capitol.
He would again burst into Meadow’s office after Trump sent out a tweet criticizing then-Vice President Mike Pence, fearful for his safety amid chants to hang him.
Hutchinson said Cipollone said something to the effect of, “This is effing crazy. We need to be doing something more.”
Cipollone has met with the committee behind closed doors but did so voluntarily and did not do a formal deposition. Trump has sought to block the testimony of many of his former aides by claiming executive privilege.
But Cheney has made no secret of her desire for him to appear publicly. She said at a hearing last week they were working to secure his testimony.
“Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. Indeed our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office tried to do what was right. They tried to stop a number of President Trump’s plans for Jan. 6. Today and in our coming hearings you will hear testimony from other Trump White House staff explaining what Mr. Cipollone said and did, including on Jan. 6,” she said.
“But we think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally.”
Cipollone would be the second White House official to appear before the panel and would be able to weigh in on the legality of Trump’s actions. His office advised against a number of Trump’s schemes and also pushed back when the president sought to appoint a new attorney general to forward investigations into his baseless claims of election fraud.
Hutchinson’s testimony indicated there were numerous times Cipollone expressed concerts over the legality of Trump’s plans, including a thwarted attempt to join his supporters as they marched to the Capitol.
“We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen,” Hutchinson said he told her.