John Dean reveals how J6 can corner Pat Cipollone — and get him to testify on camera
Pat Cipollone (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean explained on Tuesday how the select committee can compel former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify.

Dean, who was convicted and disbarred for his role in Watergate, was interviewed by CNN's Phil Mattingly.

Mattingly noted Dean's response when the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol subpoenaed Cipollone

"Do not go the same route traveled with other Trump officials. The House must change its rules to invoke INHERENT CONTEMPT. End the nonsense of subpoena noncompliance by relying on DOJ or courts when Congress has the power to compel. Force Cipollone’s hand! Dean tweeted.

Dean explained his thinking.

"Historically, the House of Representatives gives each of its committees the power to enforce its subpoenas. It's been done historically, hasn't been done since the '30s because in the interim they started relying on the Department of Justice or bringing civil lawsuits to enforce subpoenas," he explained. "But this puts you at the mercy of the person you're trying to get a subpoena on."

"They control and can influence the lawsuit, how -- when they file it, how complex they make it, and the Department of Justice may or may not enforce the subpoena. We don't -- you're somewhat at their mercy. They have their own rules in the office of legal counsel as to when a white house witness doesn't have to respond."

"So avoid all that, go to the inherent contempt. It's a simple change of the House rules, and there are a number of resolutions that have been introduced in each Congress for the House to do it," he explained. "They could do it in one afternoon."

Congress is scheduled to remain on vacation until July 12.

"They could resolve this, and they could strip Cipollone of his leverage, which is the threat of a lawsuit," Dean argued. "And you know, they could tell him we want you up here, you're going to be on camera, and you're going answer all our questions, or you're going to be in contempt of the House, and that can be, whatever the rules change it to, make it $10,000 a day if you don't testify."

"That will get his attention. That will get him talking in front of the committee, too," Dean predicted.

Dean has previously voiced support for legislation by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) that was cosponsored by Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI), Val Demings (D-FL), Jaime Raskin (D-MD), Madeline Dean (D-PA) and Joe Neguse (D-CO),


John Dean