WASHINGTON — In appearing before the Jan. 6 committee last year, Cassidy Hutchinson, the former White House aide who recounted President Donald J. Trump’s conduct in the lead-up to the attacks on the Capitol, shared how her original lawyer had tried to influence her testimony. While represented by that lawyer, Stefan Passantino, Ms. Cassidy was less forthcoming to the committee. But after hiring a different lawyer, she provided more damaging details about Mr. Trump and said that Mr. Passantino had pressured her to remain loyal and protect the former president.
Now, several dozen prominent legal figures, including past presidents of the American Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar, are seeking to revoke Mr. Passantino’s license to practice law. The move reflects intensifying scrutiny over whether Mr. Passantino, a former Trump White House ethics lawyer whose legal fees were covered by Mr. Trump’s political action committee, violated his own professional duty, along with a host of other ethical requirements, by putting the interests of a third party over that of his client.
In a 22-page complaint filed on Monday with D.C.’s Board on Professional Responsibility, prominent lawyers accused Mr. Passantino of the crimes of subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and bribery. The latter referred in part to Ms. Cassidy’s allegation that his advice to say little to the panel was accompanied by assurances that she would get a “really good job in ‘Trump world.’”
Stefan Passantino represented Cassidy Hutchinson in multiple hearings before the now-disbanded House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol. As Law&Crime previously reported, Hutchinson told the committee that Passantino discouraged her from being completely transparent and forthcoming with congressional investigators.
“The less you remember the better,” he allegedly said according to Hutchinson, discouraging her to review her calendars in preparation for her testimony before the committee.
The complaint praised Hutchinson’s “courageous and extraordinary efforts” to push back against Passantino’s alleged misconduct. She ultimately got a different attorney. “Her service to the interests of American democracy and the rule of law cannot be overstated,” the complaint says.