Pat Cipollone, a White House adviser to former President Donald J. Trump who tried to stop some of his extreme efforts to cancel the 2020 election. election, was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating activities in preparation for the Capitol. in 2021 January 6 riots, a person familiar with the subpoena said.
It was unclear which grand jury called Mr. Cipollone to testify as a witness. Two are known to be hearing evidence and testimony, one looking at a scheme by some of Trump’s lawyers and advisers to compile voter rolls that would falsely claim Trump was the real winner of the election, and the other focusing on the events of Jan. 6.
But Mr. Cipollone is the highest-ranking White House official working for Mr. Trump in his final days on the job, who is known to have been called to testify by federal investigators.
He was in the West Wing when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, and the president repeatedly refused to call them back. Ms. Cipollone also attended several meetings before the riots in which Mr. Trump and his allies discussed how they could overturn the election and keep him in office.
Mr. Cipollone repeatedly rebuffed those efforts.
There was a court summons ABC News previously reported. An aide to Mr. Cipollone did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
Mr. Cipollone was asked to appear at a time when federal prosecutors are increasingly focusing on Mr. Trump’s conduct, not just the people who advised him.
In recent weeks, investigators have questioned witnesses about Trump and his actions, including people who have worked in the White House. Two former senior advisers to Vice President Mike Pence — his chief of staff, Marc Short, and senior adviser Greg Jacob — recently testified before a grand jury, according to people familiar with their appearances.
Given the nature of Mr. Cipollone’s work, it was unclear how much information he would provide. The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots and the events that helped precipitate them, he was subpoenaed and participated in a transcribed, recorded interview.
But certain terms were negotiated in advance, and Mr. Cipollone declined to discuss specific conversations with Mr. Trump, citing attorney-client privilege.
Mr. Cipollone has witnessed some of the most significant moments in Mr. Trump’s bid to overturn the election results, including discussions about hijacking voting machines, interfering with the Justice Department and sending false letters to public officials about election fraud.
“It’s a terrible idea for the country,” he said of proposals for the Trump administration to hijack voting machines, adding: “That’s not how we do things in the United States.”
Mr. Cipollone was also in direct contact with Mr. Trump on Jan. 6, when riots broke out on Capitol Island, telling a House committee he believed more should have been done to call off the crowd.
“I think it was pretty clear to me that there needed to be an immediate and decisive response, a statement, a public statement, that people need to leave the Capitol now,” Mr. Cipollone testified.
Katie Benner contributed to reporting.