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Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone subpoenaed by federal grand jury, reports say, as DOJ investigation heats up

Business Insider logo Business Insider 8/3/2022 tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel, seen in July 2022. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel, seen in July 2022. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • A grand jury issued a subpoena to ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone, per reports.
  • It was not immediately clear which of two DOJ investigations the subpoena belonged to.
  • Either way, it is a sign that the DOJ's efforts are getting closer to Trump's inner circle.

A federal grand jury issued a subpoena to Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel to President Donald Trump, according to multiple reports.

The move came as the Department of Justice stepped up its investigation into efforts to subvert the 2020 election. 

The subpoena was first reported by ABC News, and later confirmed by outlets including The New York Times and CNN.

The Times said it was not clear which of two concurrent federal investigations the subpoena could belong to.

Investigators are looking both at the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol and a related but distinct plot by Trump supporters to install fake electors to overturn his loss in the 2020 election.


Video: Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone expected to comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena (NBC News)

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone expected to comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena
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A source told CNN that Cipollone and his attorneys were in discussion about whether to comply.

Insider contacted Cipollone for comment on the reports. 

Cipollone was with Trump and Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, in the West Wing on January 6, 2021, as the riot unfolded.

Cipollone has testified already on events that day to the Congressional committee investigating the riot, a process which is again separate to either of the DOJ probes. 

The committee played clips of Cipollone's testimony in its live hearings, in which he said he believed Trump lost the 2020 election, and that he had wanted Trump to do more to stop the violence at the Capitol.

Whichever of the investigations it belongs to, a Cipollone subpoena is a sign that investigators are reaching new ground by touching on members of Trump's inner circle at the time of the riot.

Previously, it was unclear whether the DOJ was investigating the former president and his top aides at all in its work. 

The DOJ could decide to bring charges against Trump, either as a result of its own investigation or on the basis of material from the Jan. 6 committee. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the riot.

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