Federal grand jury subpoenas former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone in DOJ Jan. 6 inquiry
WASHINGTON – Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating the Capitol attack and the campaign to overturn the 2020 election, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
The Justice Department's action involving Cipollone comes after the former White House official testified last month before the House committee in its separate examination of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack.
Cipollone urged then-President Donald Trump to intervene as rioters stormed the Capitol and defended Justice Department officials in rejecting Trump's demands to pursue false allegations of election fraud.
Cipollone did not immediately respond to inquiries.
The Justice Department declined comment.
The subpoena to Cipollone was first reported by ABC News.
More:Federal prosecutors questioning witnesses about Trump's conduct related to Jan. 6 inquiry
Cipollone would be the most senior known member of the Trump White House to be called before the grand jury, a significant step in the federal investigation.
Top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence, including chief of staff Marc Short, have already appeared before the grand jury.
Cipollone has been central to a series of House hearings highlighting the former counsel's clashes with Trump advisers who sought to overturn the election.
During a tense Oval Office meeting Dec. 18, 2020, according to testimony last month, Trump's personal lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, along with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn verbally attacked White House officials, including Cipollone, who repeatedly rejected their pursuit of election fraud claims.
“I remember the three of them were really sort of forcefully attacking me verbally," Cipollone said.
Cipollone also emerged as a key player in a dramatic Jan. 3, 2021 Oval Office meeting in which he and top Justice officials resisted Trump's efforts to oust then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with a rogue loyalist, Jeffrey Clark, to pursue baseless allegations of voter fraud.
Rosen, acting-Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and Steven Engel, a former assistant attorney, ultimately forced the president to step back from the brink promising mass resignations.
Donoghue testified that Cipollone was a valuable ally in Justice's resistance.
Jan. 6 committee's August plan:More interviews with Trump aides and studying the 25th Amendment