Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone reinforced reports of former President Donald Trump's misconduct in testimony before the Jan. 6 House committee, a spokesman said. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
July 10 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol said that former White House counsel Pat Cipollone provided testimony "reinforcing" alleged misconduct by former President Donald Trump during the riots.
Although Cipollone had expressed concern about some questions that may have required him to invoke executive privilege, Jan. 6 committee spokesman Tim Mulvey told CNN that "allegations of some pre-interview agreement to limit Cipollone's testimony are completely false."
"In our interview with Mr. Cipollone, the committee received critical testimony on nearly every major topic in its investigation, reinforcing key points regarding Donald Trump's misconduct and providing highly relevant new information that will play a central role in its upcoming hearings," said Mulvey.
In an interview with NBC News' Meet the Press Sunday, committee member Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said Cipollone did claim executive privilege "on conversations that related to the advice he provided directly to the president or conversations with the president."
She added, however, that the committee "still got a lot of relevant information from him" during the interview.
"It provides us another perspective on what was happening in the White House in those weeks running up to Jan. 6 that were so critically important," Murphy said.
Mulvey added that the testimony included "information demonstrating Donald Trump's supreme dereliction of duty" and also "corroborated key elements" of testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, late last month.
Hutchinson testified that Secret Service official Tony Ornato told her Trump became enraged when Secret Service agents told him they could not go to the Capitol during the riots and lunged toward Secret Service agent Bobby Engel while attempting to take the wheel of the presidential limo.
Also Sunday, The Guardian, CNN and NBC News reported that Steve Bannon is expected to testify before the committee after Trump said he would waive executive privilege for his former adviser.
In a letter to Bannon, Trump said Bannon had been treated "unfairly" and forced to "spend vast amounts of legal fees" to avoid a subpoena from the committee, stating he would waive executive privilege if Bannon agreed on a time and place to testify.
"Trump has decided it would be in the best interests of the American people to waive executive privilege for Stephen K. Bannon, to allow Mr. Bannon to comply with the subpoena issued by your Committee," Robert Costello, a lawyer for Bannon, wrote in a separate letter to the committee. "Mr. Bannon is willing to and indeed prefers to testify at your public hearing."
Bannon pleaded not guilty to criminal contempt charges filed against him in November for failing to comply with the congressional subpoena and is expected to go to trial this month. He faces a sentence of up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 if convicted.
Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., told CNN's State of the Union that the committee has not yet had a chance to discuss Bannon's letter but she expects the panel "will be hearing from him and there are many questions that we have for him."
She added, however, that public testimony from Bannon was unlikely given the committee's process.
"This goes on for hour after hour," Lofgren said of the committee's depositions." We want to get all our questions answered and you can't do that in a live format."