It’s Pat Cipollone’s time in the barrel

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The January 6th Committee just announced that it’s subpoenaed Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to testify. He had reportedly been open to publicly testifying but had been dragging his feet. These things are all about timing. If he’d been subpoenaed sooner, he might have fought it for a year. But at this point he’s more likely to comply.

This is yet another example of how making the “swiftest” or most “aggressive” move does not generally translate to the most successful outcome. When a witness has the option to stall in court indefinitely, you have to find different leverage against him.

Cipollone’s ongoing refusal to testify, even after yesterday’s devastating hearing (which exposed that he advised the Trump regime its plot was criminal), now makes him look very bad in the public eye.

Cipollone would clearly have preferred to lie low and not get publicly involved, so as not to become a target or pariah within Trump world. But at this point he’s becoming a pariah to the rest of the public by not showing his face. If someone is trying to stay out of something in order to avoid the hassle, the best way to motivate them to get involved is to make it even more of a hassle for them to stay out of it.

The subpoena also gives Cipollone cover; if he’s wanted to testify but he’s been afraid of Trump’s wrath, at least he can now say to Trump that he had no choice but to testify.


Even with the clever buildup of public pressure and smartly timed subpoena, it’s still no guarantee Pat Cipollone will testify. But the odds are now, what, maybe 50% or 70%? If the committee had been more “aggressive” toward Cipollone, the odds of him ending up testifying would likely have been zero.

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