Trump White House Counsel, Stephen Miller Appearing Before Select Committee
Months after his initial subpoena, former President Donald Trump’s senior aide and speechwriter Stephen Miller is reportedly testifying before the January 6 select committee on Thursday.
The select committee is steadily rolling toward what will soon be weeks of public hearings beginning in late May or June. Private depositions, including this one with Miller, however, are still helping investigators tick off any final boxes in a probe that has collected more than 800 interviews behind closed doors.
According to the Associated Press, sources were unclear on whether Miller would appear in person or virtually. A committee spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment to Daily Kos.
The New York Times reported just 24 hours ago that the committee met with two of Trump’s most trusted attorneys, Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, on Wednesday. They were not formally subpoenaed. The attorneys were not under oath nor was their testimony transcribed. They are, however, likely to return, and on those visits, their engagement with the committee could be more formal.
Why the attorneys would meet with the committee this week is also being kept under wraps, but the National Archives on Wednesday did notify the panel it would soon begin transmitting a completely new tranche of records from the Trump White House.
Those documents are expected to be remitted to the committee within 15 days—barring a court order stopping the hand-off.
This February, Trump notified National Archivist David Ferriero that he would claim privilege over thousands of records in what will now be the seventh transmission.
Trump has been on a consistent losing streak, though, in trying to legally shroud January 6 documents from Congress. President Joe Biden overruled Trump’s executive privilege assertions, and courts have reinforced that decision.
The Archives will soon hand off Philbin’s records to the probe and that includes correspondence about the lawsuits he launched on Trump’s behalf to challenge Biden’s electoral victory. As for Cipollone, he was present for many meetings of critical importance to the Jan. 6 committee’s probe.
Cipollone was privy to meetings where Trump allegedly leaned on his other attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to call the Department of Homeland Security and demand that voting machines be seized because of widescale fraud.
That fraud was non-existent, but nonetheless, Trump raised the prospect on more than one occasion.
Cipollone and Philbin were also in the room when Attorney General Bill Barr tendered his resignation to Trump. In his recent book, Barr described the scene as explosive with Trump’s face “quivering” in anger when Barr rejected his insistent claim that there was fraud in the 2020 election.
Miller’s appearance, meanwhile, signals a continued tightening of the committee’s focus on Trump’s innermost circle. Whether Trump asserted privilege over Miller’s testimony Thursday remains to be seen. He reportedly offered his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner a chance to invoke privilege during their appearance.
Neither took him up on the offer.
Investigators want to interview Miller about his role in Trump’s “alternate elector” scheme. In an interview with Fox in December 2020, Miller openly vowed that Trump’s so-called alternates would keep the president in power because they had the ability to stop or delay the certification of electoral votes.
Those electors, however, were unsanctioned and unrecognized in every state they formed in. The National Archives ultimately rejected all alternate slates for certification. The last hope for Trump to stay in power was to have then Vice President Mike Pence stop the proceedings. Pence did not.
There are also questions about Miller’s involvement in crafting Trump’s January 6 speech. The ex-senior adviser has a penchant for inciteful rhetoric
Trump’s onetime bodyman turned personnel director John McEntee met with investigators on Wednesday, too. It was revealed in November that McEntee played a critical role in having Trump’s Defense Secretary Mark Esper ousted, despite being a political neophyte with zero experience in the defense arena.
He was, however, one of Trump’s pets inside the administration because he took it upon himself to root out any and all anti-Trump sentiment in the White House’s ranks and report on his findings.
Printed with permission from Dailykos.
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