Defense and national security – Former Trump lawyer prepares to appear before the House

Former White House attorney Pat Cipollone prepares to be the star witness against former President Trump ahead of Thursday’s hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

We are going to recap Cipollone and his role in the Trump White House. Additionally, we will talk about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s threat to “freeze” Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership.

It’s Defense and National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Jordan Williams. A friend sent you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

Cipollone prepares for January 6 testimony

Pat Cipollone, the White House attorney who staunchly defended former President Trump in his first impeachment trial, is preparing to be the star witness against the former president as the House Jan. 6 committee wraps up his public hearings with a detailed look at Trump’s three. hours of inaction as the Capitol Riot unfolded.

Cipollone was a reluctant participant in the investigation, refusing initial requests for an sworn interview with the House Select Committee, which was only able to obtain his cooperation at the eleventh hour by subpoena.

Cipollon’s deposition: His marathon deposition on July 8 proved a goldmine for the panel, confirming some of the key allegations emerging from the year-long investigation into the January 6, 2021 Capitol uprising and Trump’s role in its provocation.

  • Cipollone not only told investigators that Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud were spurious, but also that the president’s legal team repeatedly told him that the election was lost and that he must admit defeat.
  • Cipollone also verified a visit to the White House on Dec. 18, 2020, by several prominent figures from the “Stop the Steal” movement who were seeking to convince Trump to have the Pentagon seize voting machines in battleground states.

Growing frustrations: In 2019 and 2020, when Cipollone fought to defend Trump from accusations of abusing his powers in his dealings with Ukraine, congressional Democrats denounced the reserved White House lawyer, especially for his argument. that the administration had no obligation to cooperate with the congressional investigation.

  • More than two years later, the January 6 committee was also frustrated by Cipollone’s refusal to participate under oath. In his public pleas for Cipollone’s cooperation, investigators pointed out that they saw him as one of the few voices in the White House that day pushing Trump to take some kind of action.
  • “Our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office tried to do the right thing — they tried to stop a number of President Trump’s plans for January 6,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo .), vice-president of the committee. , said during a hearing last month. “But we think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally.”

Cipollo on January 6: Cipollone was one of the few to speak directly with Trump on the day of the riot, allowing him to fill in the gaps left by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who delivered his text messages but refused to sit down for a deposition with the panel’s investigators, even under subpoena.

Cipollone told the committee he pushed back on White House plans to seize voting machines at the Dec. 18, 2020, meeting.

“It’s a terrible idea for the country,” he said. “I don’t understand why we even have to tell you why this is a bad idea for the country.”

Who else could be featured? Other witnesses who could be called at the next hearing include Ivanka Trump, who spoke with her father at least twice on Jan. 6, according to earlier testimony.

Sarah Matthews, a former deputy White House press secretary, is also said to be negotiating with the committee to appear publicly.

Read the full story here.

Erdoğan: Turkey can “freeze” NATO candidacies

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday threatened to “freeze” Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership applications if the Nordic countries failed to keep their promises on anti-terrorism measures agreed last month.

All 30 NATO member states must individually ratify Finland and Sweden joining the alliance. Erdoğan’s objections raise the prospect of Ankara delaying NATO expansion as the alliance seeks to project unity against Russia’s war in Ukraine.

An outlier among the supports: Turkey has been the minority in the 30-member alliance’s overwhelming support for Finland and Sweden to quickly join NATO, focusing criticism of the Nordic countries on the presence of people allegedly affiliated with militias Kurds that Turkey condemns as terrorist organizations. .

  • State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that the United States will work with Sweden, Finland and Turkey “to make this process of joining and ratifying around the world as fast and efficient as possible.” as possible”.
  • Price said the Biden administration wants to see Finland and Sweden go up “as soon as possible.”

What Erdogan said: The Turkish president, in televised remarks on Monday, accused Sweden of “not showing a good image”, several media reported.

“I would like to reiterate once again that if these countries do not take the necessary steps to fulfill our conditions, we will freeze the (accession) process,” Erdoğan said, according to The Associated Press. “Our position on this issue is very clear. The rest is up to them.”

Why Turkey lifted its opposition: Erdoğan agreed last month to lift Turkey’s opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO after the three countries signed a trilateral memorandum in Madrid, which called in part for Helsinki and Stockholm to “process” Turkey’s pending deportation or extradition requests of suspected terrorists in those countries, among other measures.

Learn more here.

Federal government under pressure to increase Ukrainian rocket firepower

The Biden administration is under pressure to release more offensive and defensive rocket systems to Ukraine as the former Soviet country faces a critical battlefield tipping point with Russia.

As Ukrainian forces battle with Kremlin troops for control of the eastern Donbass region and seek to end the war this year – a goal that requires more air and missile defenses, early warning systems, of ammunition and other equipment – ​​defense officials and experts say a faster influx of such lethal aid can end the conflict more quickly.

The extent to which this is realistic, however, is up for debate.

The United States and its European allies and partners have tried to keep pace with Ukraine’s calls for more weapons, with the former alone granting $7.3 billion in lethal aid to Kyiv this week.

Learn more here.


  • The Association of Defense Communities host his “ADC Connect” series at 8 a.m.
  • The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a audience on “Supporting Underserved Communities in Emergency Management” at 9 a.m.
  • The Institute for Defense Government and Advancement begin the VA Healthcare conference at 9 a.m.
  • The Intelligence and National Security Alliance host “Coffee and Conversation with David Cattler” at 9 a.m.
  • The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness will hold a audience on “Fiscal Year 2023 Readiness Program Update” at 9:30 a.m.
  • The House Intelligence Committee will hold a markup at 10 o’clock
  • The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a business meeting and markup at 10 a.m.
  • The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hold a audience “Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction and Threats to Homeland Health Security” at 10 a.m.
  • The Center for Strategic and International Studies will organize a discussion on the theme “Is Chinese military logistics better than that of the Russian army?” » at 10:30 a.m.
  • The Aspen Institute will to start up the 13th Annual Aspen Security Forum at 7 p.m.


That’s all for today! Check out The Hill’s defense and national security pages for the latest coverage. Until tomorrow!


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