Star Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson was told to lie to committee by ex-Trump lawyer: Report

WEX Jan. 6 Committee Hearing / Cassidy Hutchinson - 062822
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, speaks at a hearing with the House select committee on the Jan. 6 riot on Tuesday. (Graeme Jennings / Washington Examiner)

Star Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson was told to lie to committee by ex-Trump lawyer: Report

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A Trump White House ethics lawyer reportedly advised former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson to give misleading testimony while appearing before the Jan. 6 committee earlier this summer.

Stefan Passantino, the top ethics attorney in the Trump administration, reportedly told Hutchinson to tell committee members she did not recall certain details they were investigating even if she did remember, sources familiar told CNN.

“The lawyer had advised the witness that the witness could, in certain circumstances, tell the Committee that she did not recall facts when she actually did recall them,” the committee’s executive summary states. “When the witness raised concerns with her lawyer about that approach, [the lawyer said,] ‘They don’t know what you know, [witness]. They don’t know that you can recall some of these things. So you saying ‘I don’t recall’ is an entirely acceptable response to this.”

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It was also uncovered that the former president’s Save America political action committee paid for Passantino’s law firm to represent Hutchinson, although she was not informed on who was paying for the legal services, according to the outlet.

Passantino denied allegations he advised Hutchinson to mislead the committee, noting he acted “honorably, ethically, and fully consistent with her sole interests as she communicated them to me.”

“I believed Ms. Hutchinson was being truthful and cooperative with the Committee throughout the several interview sessions in which I represented her,” he said in a statement.

Hutchinson emerged as a star witness during the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings over the summer, giving blockbuster testimony that detailed former President Donald Trump’s state of mind in the days leading up to the Capitol riot.

Before her public testimony, Hutchinson dropped Passantino and hired a new lawyer. Passantino said this behavior wasn’t uncommon as client “interests or strategies change.”

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The revelations come just two days after the Jan. 6 committee voted to issue four criminal referrals against Trump on Monday. Those charges include obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress; conspiracy to make false statements and defraud the United States government; and efforts to “incite,” “assist,” or “aid and comfort” an insurrection.

The committee’s final report is set to be released Wednesday afternoon.

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