Two of Donald Trump’s top White House lawyers are slated to speak with the Jan. 6 select committee Wednesday, according to one person with knowledge of the arrangement.
Pat Cipollone, Trump’s White House counsel, and his deputy Patrick Philbin, are expected to speak informally with the panel, a potential precursor to more formal transcribed testimony later. Cipollone and Philbin did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the panel declined to comment.
Cipollone and Philbin are the latest in a string of high-level aides to cooperate with the panel. In recent weeks, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have both answered questions from investigators.
Cipollone emerged as a central source of pushback in the frantic final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. He reportedly pushed back aggressively against a last-ditch plan to appoint a special prosecutor to examine Trump’s claims of election fraud, and he also appeared to be the subject of a Jan. 5 text from Fox News host Sean Hannity to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“Pence pressure … WH counsel will leave,” Hannity wrote.
Cipollone and Philbin had also been part of a Oval Office meeting on Jan. 3, 2021, with Trump where they made it clear officials would resign if Trump installed Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general to replace Jeffrey Rosen, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s report on Trump’s efforts to interfere at the Justice Department.
“One thing we know is you, Rosen, aren’t going to do anything to overturn the election,” Trump said, according to Rosen’s testimony to investigators.
Philbin’s materials were also at issue in at least one tranche of records delivered by the National Archives to the select committee earlier this year. According to a Justice Department court filing, written on behalf of the Archives, the documents included files drawn from Philbin’s records such as “a memorandum apparently originating outside the White House regarding a potential lawsuit by the United States against several states President Biden won.”
The lawyers worked on some of the White House’s most sensitive issues, including by defending Trump against the House’s impeachment charges against him related to his decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine.
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