Judge orders top former Trump White House lawyers to testify: Report

Pat Cipollone
A video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Judge orders top former Trump White House lawyers to testify: Report

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A federal judge has reportedly ordered two top Trump White House lawyers to appear before a grand jury and testify as part of its criminal investigation into the former president and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Patrick Philbin must provide additional testimony to a grand jury in Washington, D.C., as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the 2020 election and the subsequent riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to CNN. The two White House lawyers previously testified in September but declined to answer some questions, citing former President Donald Trump’s executive and attorney-client privileges.

DOJ SEEKING TESTIMONY FROM PENCE IN JAN. 6 INVESTIGATION: REPORT

However, a judge has rejected those privileges, compelling the two to testify again, the outlet reported. It’s likely Trump will appeal the decision.

The judge has similarly shut down other claims of executive privilege from the former president as he sought to block the testimony of former Vice President Mike Pence, his former chief of staff Marc Short, and Greg Jacob, the former top White House lawyer to the vice president.

The testimony is part of the DOJ’s investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which is separate from a similar inquiry being conducted by the House Jan. 6 committee.

The DOJ investigation aims to uncover what the former president told his attorneys and senior officials to do as part of their bid to change the 2020 election outcome, and there are two other paths that could lead to additional scrutiny of Trump, the sources said.

One centers on seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct a government proceeding, similar to charges levied against those arrested after storming the Capitol. Another involves charging Trump with fraud in connection to the false electors plot or his efforts to pressure the DOJ to overturn the results of the election.

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The department is also reportedly seeking cooperation from Pence as part of its investigation, seeking behind-the-scenes details of these conversations. Discussions about when and how to question him are reportedly in their early stages, and it could take months before he offers his testimony.

The criminal investigation could throw a wedge into Trump’s reelection plans, as he announced his third run for the presidency late last month.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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