Cipollone’s non-answers undermines Hutchinson’s … and the Committee’s … credibility
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before Speaker Pelosi’s one-sided January 6 inquisition. He was one of the most sought-after individuals on the Select Committee’s wish list.
It was a negotiated appearance, meaning that the inquisitors would not ask any questions in which Executive Privilege or client/attorney privilege might have been exerted. The Committee could have taken the privilege issue to court, but that would have messed up their timeline to get the report out in time to have maximum impact on the 2022 midterm election. Do not forget that the Committee is not about seeking truth, but to create political narratives that can be used as campaign fodder by Democrats.
As with much of the information we can garner from the Committee, we have to rely on carefully scripted and rehearsed testimony or selective leaks.
Tight-lipped Committee members have said that Cipollone did not refute the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson – particularly the part where she said that Cipollone had told her that if the Trump contingent went up to Capitol Hill, they would be breaking innumerable laws.
Of course, he did not refute it. That was because they never ask him if he had said such a thing. Any responsible and rational person might have expected that to be the first – and most important – question.
The credibility of Hutchinson’s testimony has been questioned when secret service personnel refuted her hearsay claim that President Trump had grabbed the wheel of the vehicle and attacked the driver, Robert Engel, over his refusal to take Trump to the Capitol Building.
Hutchinson claimed she heard about the incident from Tony Omato, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. Onato later denied telling Hutchinson what she reported to the Committee. Engel and Omato both said they would testify under oath.
When asked if the Committee would be bringing the Secret Service agents in to testify under oath, the Committee demonstrated a hesitancy. At this juncture, it is unlikely that they will testify – for obvious reasons.
Part of a prosecutor’s code is to never ask a question to which they do not know the answer – or do not like the answer. They want to avoid any information that does not support the prosecutorial narrative. And now we see that being applied to Cipollone.
Saying that Cipollone did not refute Hutchinson’s testimony is a lawyer’s method of misleading. According to leaks from the Cipollone side of the issue, he would have firmly refuted what Hutchinson claimed he said if he had been asked. A fair tribunal would get that important information on the record.
These are just two examples as to why one should never trust a one-sided interrogation or prosecution. That should be a matter of principle for honest and fair-minded people – not subject to political biases and prejudices. A one-sided tribunal cannot be trusted to arrive at the truth under any circumstances.
Failing to ask the pertinent questions of Engel, Omato, and Cipollone is a very small example of the investigative process that is taking place with the Select Committee on a daily basis. In the words of the old west, Pelosi’s Select Committee is a hangin’ jury – and we should see it as such.
So, there ‘tis.