Thirty-plus prominent legal figures filed an ethics complaint with D.C.’s Board on Professional Responsibility on Monday to revoke Trump-world attorney Stefan Passantino’s license to practice law, claiming that he tried to influence his former client Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony before the House Jan. 6 select committee.
Hutchinson — a former White House aide to then-chief of staff Mark Meadows and a key witness for the Jan. 6 committee — alleged that she withheld information during her first sit down with the lawmakers because Passantino pressured her to remain loyal to former President Donald Trump and tried to influence her testimony in order to protect the ex-president.
“We just want to focus on protecting the president,” Hutchinson recalled Passantino telling her, during a separate interview she gave to the committee.
“We all know you’re loyal,” she said Passantino told her. “Let’s just get you in and out, and this day will be easy, I promise.”
The 22-page complaint, filed by Lawyers Defending American Democracy, accused Passantino — a Trump White House ethics attorney who was paid by the former president’s political action committee to represent Hutchinson — of violating at least four federal criminal prohibitions: subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and bribery.
“The Office of Disciplinary Counsel should promptly initiate an investigation of Mr. Passantino’s conduct and, if the facts described above are confirmed, seek his disbarment,” the complaint read.
The House Jan. 6 Committee was aware of efforts from Trump and his allies to intimidate witnesses during last year’s investigation. Vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) addressed the allegations on multiple occasions, issuing stark warnings on live TV that the committee was taking any witness intimidation or pressuring attempts very seriously.
The Monday complaint is not the first or only effort to reprimand Passentino for his alleged behavior.
Lawyers Defending American Democracy also filed its complaint with disciplinary authorities in New York and Georgia — states where Passantino is licensed to practice law.
And last month, The 65 Project — a campaign targeting lawyers who aided attempts by then-President Trump and his supporters to overturn the 2020 election — filed a similar but narrower ethics complaint in Georgia.
Ross Garber, one of Passantino’s lawyers, described the complaint as a “transparent effort to smear” Passantino and undermined its validity because it was not filed by Cassidy herself.
Passantino is the latest name in a list of Trump lawyers who have had ethics complaints filed against them over their legal work tied to the 2020 election and Jan. 6, including John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro and Rudy Giuliani.