- The January 6 committee claimed a witness had been advised to alter their testimony, CNN reported.
- Per CNN, the witness was Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
- The attorney denied the allegations to Insider, saying he represented Hutchinson “honorably.”
An attorney who previously represented a key January 6 witness told them to mislead the January 6 committee about what she knew, CNN reports.
During Monday’s final January 6 committee hearing, Rep. Zoe Lofgren claimed an unnamed witness had been advised by someone close to Trump to make statements in an attempt to deceive the committee. And in the executive summary of the January 6 hearingsthe committee wrote that an unnamed lawyer had advised their client to “tell the committee that she did not recall facts when she actually did recall them.”
The committee did not name either the witness or the person they claimed tried to influence the testimony.
However, multiple unnamed sources told CNN that Stefan Passantino, a former White House lawyer who served as chief ethics lawyer under former President Donald Trump’s administration, was the attorney. CNN reported that Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Trump White House aide who gave bombshell public testimony earlier this year, was the witness. Unnamed sources familiar with the matter also confirmed to The New York Times that Hutchinson what the witness in question.
Two sources told CNN that Hutchinson had relayed the incident to the Department of Justice. Passantino has not been charged with a crime.
In a statement to Insider, Passantino denied the accusations, and accused the committee of not reaching out to him “to get the facts.”
“As with all my clients during my 30 years of practice, I represented Ms. Hutchinson honorably, ethically, and fully consistent with her sole interests as she communicated them to me. I believed Ms. Hutchinson was being truthful and cooperative with the Committee throughout the several interview sessions in which I represented her,” Passantino told Insider.
Passantino represented Hutchinson from 2021, when the House committee began its investigation, up until a month before her public testimony with the Jan. 6 committee in June, the Washington Post reports. For her public testimony, Passantino was replaced with attorney Jody Hunt of Alston & Bird, Political reported.
Sources told CNN that Trump’s Save America PAC paid for Passantino to represent Hutchinson through Passantino’s law firm Elections LLC.
Passantino also denied he shared Hutchinson’s testimony with outside entities without her permission and contended that it was normal for PACs to pay client fees “at the client’s request.”
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, the law firm that listed Passantino as a partner, told CNN it was not involved in the situation. In Passantino’s statement, he said he decided to take a “leave of absence” from the firm, but would continue working at Elections LLC.
The Jan. 6 committee, a representative for Hutchinson, and Michael Best & Friedrich, LLC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.