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Kinzinger: Subpoena of ex-White House counsel 'probably bad' for Trump

CNN logo CNN 8/3/2022 Veronica Stracqualursi
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Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone having been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury is “probably bad” for former President Donald Trump, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, said Wednesday.

Kinzinger told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “New Day” that the subpoena likely signals that the Justice Department’s investigation has a “very deep interest” in what Trump did.

“I hope Pat Cipollone actually just tells the truth. I have no doubt that he hasn’t. But there is no reason to protect particularly criminal behavior, what could potentially be criminal behavior behind executive privilege,” the Illinois Republican said. “So we’ll see where this goes. But there is no doubt that this investigation has developed further along than where we even knew it was or thought it was a few months ago.”

CNN reported Tuesday that the former White House counsel had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to a source familiar with the matter. The revelation marks a significant escalation in the department’s probe into the plots to subvert the 2020 election.

Cipollone and his attorneys are in discussions about an appearance before the grand jury, including how to deal with executive privilege issues, the source said.

“I think in terms of their negotiations, obviously the Justice Department knows better what they can go around when it comes to saying executive privilege. And so I hope they, you know, go at that judiciously,” Kinzinger said.

Cipollone testified last month in a closed-door interview with the January 6 committee, and in its seventh public hearing, the panel played clips where he agreed with other Trump officials that there was insufficient evidence of election fraud and said that he believed Trump should have conceded the election.

Kinzinger declined to get into details Wednesday of whether the January 6 committee and the Justice Department are cooperating related to Cipollone’s testimony to the panel.

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