Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified for eight hours in front of the House Jan. 6 Committee on Friday in a closed-door interview. Here are some key moments of his testimony played at the committee's seventh hearing on Tuesday.
He did not think there was sufficient evidence of election fraud: In his testimony, Cipollone said he agreed with former Attorney General Bill Barr, who concluded there was insufficient evidence of election fraud. He recounted former chief of staff Mark Meadows saying in November 2020 that then-President Trump should have conceded, to which he said he agreed. Jason Miller, a former senior adviser to Trump, told the committee that Cipollone called John Eastman's theory to overturn the election "nutty." Cipollone did not refute this statement.
He was verbally attacked during the Dec. 18, 2020 meeting at the White House. Cipollone told the committee he walked into the Dec.18 meeting attended by Trump, former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, none of which, he said, he was "happy to see."
The meeting, which lasted six hours, was described as “unhinged” by former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson after hearing screaming coming from the West Wing. Ideas circulated about overturning the election including Flynn's suggestion to invoke martial law and inspection of voting machines.
“I don’t think any of these people were providing the President with good advice,” Cipollone told the committee.
After asking where the evidence was for claims of voter fraud, Cipollone said that he and Meadows were verbally attacked for questioning where the evidence for Trump’s falsely claimed victory came from. Cipollone told the committee the group responded with “general disregard for wanting to back up claims with facts.”
In addition to floating claims of voter fraud and plots to overturn the election, Cipollone described his opposition to Trump’s suggestion of naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud in the 2020 election. "I was vehemently opposed — I didn't think she should be appointed to anything," Cipollone told the committee during his closed-door interview, according to a video clip from that meeting played Tuesday.
He thought it was a “terrible idea” for the President to follow a plan to seize election machines: A proposal for the federal government to seize election machines was "a terrible idea," Cipollone told the committee.
“That's not how we do things in the United States. There's no legal authority to do that," Cipollone said.