August 3, 2022 / by emptywheel


Pat Cipollone Wants Trump to Know He’s Still Protecting Him

ABC got the scoop yesterday that Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed in the January 6 investigation. Remember: under grand jury secrecy rules, only the recipient can share details of a subpoena (or, if the FBI delivers it, their neighbors).

Which is why I’m interested that the ABC story makes it clear that Cipollone’s lawyers “are expected to engage in negotiations around any appearance.”

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone in its investigation into the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 election, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told ABC News.

The sources told ABC News that attorneys for Cipollone — like they did with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — are expected to engage in negotiations around any appearance, while weighing concerns regarding potential claims of executive privilege.

This confirms a point I made yesterday: Cipollone is no more a reliable witness than nutjob Sidney Powell or nutjob Rudy Giuliani.

That’s because he is using frivolous Executive Privilege claims — made even after the Supreme Court ruled that Trump doesn’t have privilege here, and made by the White House Counsel, not the President’s own lawyer — to avoid disclosing the content of things he said directly to the President.

And there’s no reason for a buttoned down lawyer like Cipollone to reveal his grand jury testimony, along with claims he’s going to sustain his frivolous privilege claims, unless he wants to reassure Trump.

I keep suggesting that Cipollone may know he has his own exposure. He would have been involved in all the pardons Trump gave save, perhaps, Steve Bannon’s last minute one. And there’s good reason to believe those pardons included quid pro quos that bought cooperation in the insurrection.

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