GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says it's bad for Trump that a grand jury investigating the Capitol riot subpoenaed his former White House counsel

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says it's bad for Trump that a grand jury investigating the Capitol riot subpoenaed his former White House counsel
·3 min read
Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger.Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Rep. Kinzinger said it's likely bad for Trump that his White House counsel got a grand-jury subpoena.

  • Pat Cipollone is the highest-ranking Trump White House official to be subpoenaed over the riot.

  • At least two grand juries are looking at events around the riot. It's unclear which subpoenaed him.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said Wednesday that the former White House counsel Pat Cipollone being subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating the Capitol riot spelled trouble for former President Donald Trump.

ABC News first reported on the subpoena Tuesday evening. At least two grand juries are investigating the events of January 6, 2021, according to The New York Times, and it's unclear which one subpoenaed Cipollone. He is the highest-ranking Trump White House official to be called in to testify in connection with the Capitol siege.

"Just generally, I'll say this is probably bad for former President Trump," Kinzinger, one of two Republican lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, told CNN.

If Cipollone "goes in front of the grand jury, it shows that this is more than, you know, what did John Eastman do, the attorney that basically came up with that crazy scheme to overturn the election," Kinzinger added.

Eastman is a GOP-aligned lawyer who concocted a dubious six-step plan that called for then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally overturn the results of the 2020 election — something he did not have the power to do. A federal judge in March referred to that plan as a "coup in search of a legal theory."

Since the memo outlining the plan came to light, Eastman, now a former Chapman University law professor, has been a person of interest to the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. Earlier this summer, federal agents seized Eastman's phone as part of the Justice Department's criminal inquiry into the January 6 attack.

Kinzinger on Wednesday told CNN that the Cipollone subpoena indicated the feds had a "deep interest" in Trump's actions leading up to and on the day of the riot. But Cipollone's position at the time as Trump's White House counsel could present issues related to executive privilege, which Kinzinger alluded to.

"I think, you know, in terms of their negotiations, I think, obviously, the Justice Department knows better what they can, in essence, get around when it comes to saying 'executive privilege,' and so I hope they go at that judiciously," the Illinois lawmaker told CNN.

"I hope Pat Cipollone actually just tells the truth," he said. "I have no doubt that he hasn't, but there's no reason to protect particularly criminal behavior, or what could potentially be criminal behavior, behind executive privilege."

Kinzinger, who has criticized the pace of the department's investigation, added: "So we'll see where this goes, but there is no doubt that this investigation has developed further along than even where we knew it was or thought it was a few months ago."

One of the two grand juries known to be investigating the siege is focused on the events of January 6, during which thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election. The attack unfolded shortly after Trump held a rally in Washington, DC, calling for his supporters to "fight like hell" against Biden's win.

The other grand jury is said to be zeroing in on a dubious scheme by a number of Trump-aligned lawyers to create false slates of electors who were pledged to Trump in seven battleground states that Biden carried in the election.

Read the original article on Business Insider