Subpoenas sent to Donald Trump campaign officials reveal the Jan. 6 special counsel is looking into who is paying for people’s lawyers, according to The Washington Post.
The subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith’s team reportedly aims to determine if any of the officials has legal representation paid for by someone else, according to the Post, which said it reviewed a copy.
Problematic lawyer relationships were revealed last year by Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. She testified before the House Jan. 6 committee last year that former Trump administration ethics lawyer Steve Passantino, who counseled her for free, encouraged Hutchinson to remember as little as possible when testifying.
She said he refused to tell her who was paying his fees.
Hutchinson said Passantino also specifically told her not to say anything about what she ended up describing to the panel in bombshell testimony: a tense physical confrontation between an angry Donald Trump and a Secret Service agent in the presidential vehicle on Jan. 6, 2021. The confrontation occurred when Trump demanded to be taken to the U.S. Capitol and his security detail refused.
Hutchinson understood she would be “taken care of” and would even be provided with a job if she followed the attorney’s advice, she told Jan. 6 committee members.
“We’re gonna get you a really good job in Trump world,” Hutchinson testified she was told. “You don’t need to apply other places. We’re gonna get you taken care of. We want to keep you in the family.”
Passantino “said: ‘Look, we want to get you in, get you out. We’re going to downplay your role. You were a secretary ... everyone’s on the same page about this. ... The less you remember, the better,’” Hutchinson recounted to the committee.
Hutchinson said she later retained other attorneys when she became convinced that her interests weren’t foremost in Passantino’s plans.
“The witness believed this was an effort to affect her testimony, and we are concerned that these efforts may have been a strategy to prevent the committee from finding the truth,” committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said later.
The Post report said the subpoena was also seeking any communication regarding voting machine companies Dominion and Smartmatic, which have been baselessly implicated in Trump backers’ false claims of a rigged election.
Smith’s team of investigators is also seeking “all documents and communications” related to several Trump-affiliated groups, including the Make America Great Again PAC, the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, according to the newspaper.