Former Trump Lawyer Sues Jan. 6 Committee

Former Trump White House attorney Stefan Passantino has filed a $67 million lawsuit against the dissolved, Democratic-led Jan. 6 Committee, alleging that it ruined his professional reputation and career.

According to the complaint filed on Tuesday, the committee allegedly leaked false information to the media, alleging that Passantino encouraged “star witness” Cassidy Hutchinson to give untruthful testimony to the panel.

The complaint states, “The Committee acted against Passantino in an effort to destroy his reputation and career in support of a pre-ordained political and legal narrative against the forty-fifth President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

Passantino’s attorneys denied the allegations, claiming that the committee failed to verify the information and consequently caused harm to Passantino’s reputation, emotional well-being and finances.

In June 2022, Hutchinson, a former White House staffer, testified before the committee, alleging that Passantino had advised her to provide misleading information about the events surrounding the attack on the US Capitol.

Specifically, she claimed that Passantino instructed her to assert that she did not recall the details of a particular incident in which Donald Trump had purportedly berated members of his security team in an SUV on the day of the riot.

At the time, Passantino defended his representation of Hutchinson, maintaining that he acted with integrity and in accordance with her interests. He insisted that he did not advise Hutchinson to lie or commit perjury. He deemed the committee’s leak to the media as “unjustifiable, malicious and outrageous.”

Following the disclosure of Hutchinson’s testimony, Michael Best & Friedrich, the law firm representing Passantino, severed ties with him. Moreover, Lawyers Defending Democracy, a group that seeks to strip Passantino of his law license due to his representation of Hutchinson, lodged a complaint with the Washington Bar.

Stefan Passantino’s complaint was submitted under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which grants the government six months to react before he can pursue a federal lawsuit. His legal counsel, Jesse Binnall, asserted that this law “provides a means for individuals to seek redress from the government for damages caused by its actions.”

There was no immediate response from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the chair of the January 6 committee, when asked for comment on Passantino’s complaint.