During her testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in January, Cassidy Hutchinson was reportedly advised by an ethics lawyer for the Trump administration to provide misleading testimony.
According to CNN, Stefan Passantino Jr., the head of the ethics division of the Trump administration, told the committee members that he did not recall details about the investigations that were being conducted.
According to the committee's executive summary, the witness' lawyer advised her that she could provide misleading testimony by stating that she did not recall certain facts. However, after she raised her concerns with the lawyer, she was reportedly told that the Committee did not know whether she could or not recall certain information. This means that her statement of "I don't recall" was an acceptable response to the issue, a typical strategy to avoid answering questions in the court toom.
It was also reported that the political action committee of the former president payed for the legal services of Passantino.
Passantino denied the allegations against him, saying that he acted in an ethical and responsible manner when he advised the witness to provide misleading testimony.
In a statement, Passantino said that he believed that the witness was being completely honest with the Committee. He also noted that she cooperated with the committee throughout the interview sessions.
During the committee's public hearings in the summer, which were held before the Capitol riot, the witness, who was referred to as a star witness, provided a detailed account of the state of Donald Trump's mind before the incident.
Before her testimony, the witness asked to be represented by a different lawyer. According to Passantino, this type of behavior was not unusual as his clients' strategies and interests changed.
The developments came two days after the committee voted to refer four of Trump's associates to the criminal justice system. These include obstruction of Congress, conspiracy to commit fraud, and attempts to incite an insurrection.