WASHINGTON — Two top lawyers who worked in the White House under former President Donald Trump have been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury investigating the events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, people familiar with the matter said, in the latest sign that the Justice Department’s probe is entering a more aggressive phase.
Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Pat Philbin received subpoenas in recent days seeking documents and testimony, the people said.
The subpoenas are the clearest sign yet that federal prosecutors are examining Trump’s own actions, not just those of his allies, in efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, including before and during the attack on the Capitol by his supporters.
Prosecutors in recent days have also pressed witnesses, including two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence, about Trump’s push to stay in office, The Wall Street Journal reported, though the questioning doesn’t necessarily mean that prosecutors are pursuing a criminal case against the former president.
Cipollone is the highest ranking former Trump White House official known to have been called to testify in the widening federal probe. He was in the White House as rioters stormed the Capitol and sat in on several meetings before the attack in which Trump’s allies sought ways to overturn the election. Cipollone has said that he and others repeatedly opposed those efforts. Both he and Philbin were witnesses to Trump’s activity in his final days in office.
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