WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol issued a subpoena Wednesday for the testimony of Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel to President Donald J. Trump who repeatedly fought back against extreme plans to overturn the 2020 election, after he resisted testifying publicly.
In a statement accompanying the subpoena, the leaders of the committee said they were seeking Mr. Cipollone’s deposition testimony because investigators needed to “hear from him on the record, as other former White House counsels have done in other congressional investigations.”
The committee said it was seeking information about Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his involvement in plans to submit false slates of electors to Congress and interfere with the Justice Department. The subpoena of a White House counsel, a rare step for a congressional committee, sent a clear signal of the aggressive tactics the panel is willing to use to try to force cooperation of even the White House’s former top lawyer, who will most likely be able to invoke attorney-client privilege in response to many questions.
“Any concerns Mr. Cipollone has about the institutional prerogatives of the office he previously held are clearly outweighed by the need for his testimony,” Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, and Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, said in a statement.
A lawyer familiar with Mr. Cipollone’s deliberations, who was not authorized to speak for the record, said that the subpoena was needed before the former White House counsel could consider transcribed testimony before the committee, and that Mr. Cipollone would now evaluate matters of privilege as appropriate.
In April, Mr. Cipollone and Patrick F. Philbin, who was his deputy, met separately with the panel, two people familiar with the sessions said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the meetings.
At the time, the two men were not under oath, and their interviews were not transcribed. Since then, Mr. Cipollone has resisted testifying publicly, despite calls from the committee for him to do so.
“Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. But we think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally,” Ms. Cheney announced from the dais at a hearing last week. “He should appear before this committee, and we are working to secure his testimony.”