(NPR) – The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has issued a subpoena to former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, a critical figure in the final days of the Trump White House who the committee has been publicly pleading with to appear.
The committee has spoken to Cipollone in an informal interview but Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has argued from the dais for him to appear publicly.
“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 January 6th. 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 January 6th,” she said on June 21 in the panel’s fourth hearing. “But we think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally.”
In a letter to Cipollone regarding the subpoena, Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., writes that Cipollone has “declined to cooperate with us further.” He said the committee would like to speak with him about a number of issues, including Trump’s efforts to subvert the election, a scheme to submit fake electoral ballots, the attempted replacement of Justice Department leadership, and attempts to directly interfere with Congress’ activities on Jan. 6, 2021.
Testimony in the hearings so far has shown Cipollone present at key points in the leadup to Jan. 6 and on the day of the attack. Former Department of Justice officials said he worked to intervene and stop Trump from replacing the department’s leadership with DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark, who proposed sending out a letter falsely claiming fraud in the election that Cipollone referred to as a “murder-suicide pact,” according to former DOJ official Steven Engel. Former Trump campaign aide Jason Miller testified that Cipollone confronted lawyer John Eastman over his theory that Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally stop the electoral count.