Former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone will give evidence in closed session before the House January 6 select committee this week, following multiple calls for his testimony from committee members.

Mr Cipollone, who served as former president Donald Trump’s top White House lawyer from 2019 to the end of his term in January 2021, has previously met with the panel on an informal basis, but he has now agreed to a transcribed interview with select committee members and investigators.

Although his testimony will not be given in a public setting, the select committee’s practice has been to videotape interviews with witnesses for use in public hearings.

The former White House lawyer’s testimony could shed significant light on Mr Trump’s behaviour during the 187 minutes between the storming of the US Capitol by a riotous mob of his supporters and when the building was cleared by law enforcement and national guard soldiers.

Another ex-White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, has previously told the select committee that Mr Cipollone vehemently opposed plans for Mr Trump to join his supporters in marching to the Capitol following a speech he delivered near the White House on 6 January 2021, the day Congress was set to meet in joint session to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

According to Ms Hutchinson, Mr Cipollone warned that Mr Trump could expose himself and his aides to charges for “every crime imaginable” if he undertook the 1.8 mile journey from the White House to the Capitol.

Other witnesses have testified that Mr Cipollone also opposed a scheme under which Mr Trump would have installed a loyalist, Jeffery Clark, atop the Justice Department to enable Mr Clark to send letters to legislators in swing states won by Mr Biden, advising them to take actions to rescind their states’ electoral votes and award them to Mr Trump instead.

The plan fell apart after DOJ leadership told Mr Trump they would resign en masse, with Mr Cipollone concurring.

Additional reporting by agencies



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