Here’s my advice. Get used to the name of Pat Cipollone. Over the next couple of weeks, you’re going to become so familiar with him that you’ll be able to recognize him if you see him walking down the street. Kind of Like Kanye West, but without the potty mouth.
Here’s why I say this. Yesterday, Cipollone spent 8.5 hours testifying in front of the J6 committee. Here’s a newsflash for you. It doesn’t take 8.5 hours to testify is all you’re going to say is I plead the fifth, and executive privilege. You can burn through 200 questions an hour by pulling that shit. Cipollino obviously had something to say, and he said it.
Remember this. Cipollino brought a team of lawyers to the deposition with him, who stayed outside of the room. Several times Cipollino left the hearing room to consult with his attorneys on issues of whether Attorney-client, or executive privilege were available to be invoked. My best guess is that most of them came up NO.
From where I’m sitting, Cipollone is in one of the weakest positions I’ve ever seen to claim either. For starters, let’s go with attorney-client privilege. First problem. Cipollone didn’t represent Trump, he represented the office of the Presidency. Cipollini’s argument could be that when he spoke to Trump, he spoke to him in his capacity as President.
But this falls apart for two reasons. First of all, attorney-client privilege deals with confidential conversations between the two. The problem is that Trump was seldom alone in the Oval office, and statements made in front of others are not protected.
Now let’s move on to the issue of Executive Privilege. Executive privilege protects a President from disclosure for confidential conversations on matters of national policy. There’s where it falls apart. Evidence and testimony has already shown that from November 9th to January 20th, Trump was totally obsessed with retaining power, even though he had lost. Therefore, pretty much nothing he was discussing was national policy, it was personal political survival. And that isn’t covered.
Everybody thinks that Cipollone is a critical witness to provide testimony that buttresses the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson. But it’s so much more than that. Because Cipollone was privy to meetings and conversations that Cassidy Hutchinson had no part in.
Even more importantly, Cipollone can testify to his own feelings and judgements as to what Trump and his cabal were discussing. In the hearings, this can play directly into just why Cipollone kept throwing cold water on all of Trump’s ideas for overturning the election. Please recall, Trump repeatedly and publicly ridiculed Cipolline for being The worst lawyer he had ever seen in his life. Because he told Trump NO!
My advice is to get used to hearing the name of Pat Cipollone, because you’re going to be hearing it for a while. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the J6 committee announces another hearing devoted to Cipollini’s testimony on all sorts of non protected meetings and conversations in the days leading up to January 6th. Cipollone and Hutchinson are about to become the John Dean of the January 5th Insurrection hearings. Don’t touch that dial.