Concerns over witness tampering after Trump PAC offered to pay Jan. 6 witnesses’ legal fees

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that “more than a dozen” of former President Donald Trump’s allies are being offered a free ride on legal fees by a key political action committee associated with the former president, as the January 6 Committee’s investigation continues to probe the events of the Capitol attack.

“The arrangement drew new scrutiny this week after Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide in his White House, made an explosive appearance before the House panel, providing damning new details about Mr. Trump’s actions and statements on the day of the deadly riot,” reported Luke Broadwater, Maggie Haberman, Annie Karni, and Alan Feuer. “She did so after firing a lawyer who had been recommended to her by two of Mr. Trump’s former aides and paid for by his political action committee, and hiring new counsel. Under the representation of the new lawyer, Jody Hunt, Ms. Hutchinson sat for a fourth interview with the committee in which she divulged more revelations and agreed to come forward publicly to testify to them.”

According to the report, it is unclear whether firing the Trump-recommended counsel cleared the way for Hutchinson to testify — although some members of the committee are suspicious that that is what happened.

“According to financial disclosures, in May alone, Mr. Trump’s ‘Save America’ political action committee paid about $200,000 to law firms,” said the report. “That including $75,000 to JPRowley Law, which represents Cleta Mitchell, a pro-Trump lawyer who has filed suit to try to block the committee’s subpoena, and $50,000 to Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White, which has represented Stephen K. Bannon, a close ally of the former president who refused to meet with the panel and has been charged with criminal contempt.”

“It was not immediately clear whether those payments were for covering legal fees connected to the Jan. 6 inquiry, but people familiar with the matter said the PAC has paid for the representation of several former officials and aides in the investigation, including some high-profile ones such as Stephen Miller, who served as a senior adviser to Mr. Trump,” the report noted.

Hutchinson gave bombshell testimony in a surprise interview earlier this week, including that Trump knew the rioters were armed and demanded they be allowed to march to the Capitol anyway because “they’re not here to hurt me,” and that the former president got into a physical altercation with a Secret Service agent after being told he couldn’t visit the scene of the riot. Another Trump official, Tony Ornato, has denied this sequence of events, although other officials have accused him of a track record of dishonesty.


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