Pat Cipollone

Pasquale Anthony "Pat" Cipollone[1] (born May 6, 1966)[2] is an American attorney who served as White House Counsel for President Donald Trump.

Pat Cipollone
Pat Cipollone.jpg
White House Counsel
In office
December 10, 2018 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byEmmet Flood (acting)
Succeeded byDana Remus
Personal details
Born (1966-05-06) May 6, 1966 (age 55)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Rebecca Sue Thelen
EducationFordham University (BA)
University of Chicago (JD)

Early lifeEdit

Cipollone's father was an Italian immigrant and factory worker; his mother was a homemaker. He spent most of his childhood in the Bronx.[3] The family moved to Northern Kentucky, where he graduated from Covington Catholic High School in 1984.[4] He graduated as class valedictorian from Fordham University in 1988, with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political philosophy.[3] He attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he was managing editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, earning a Juris Doctor in 1991.[5]


He was a law clerk for Judge Danny Boggs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1991–1992, and served as an assistant to Attorney General William P. Barr from 1992–1993.[6]

Cipollone was a partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, and prior to taking over as White House Counsel was a partner at Stein, Mitchell, Cipollone, Beato & Missner, where he practiced commercial litigation.[7] His clients included President Donald Trump, Radio Ingraham LLC, and Sony Entertainment.[8]

Cipollone's financial disclosure reported an income of $6.7 million in 2017–2018.[8][9][10]

White House CounselEdit

Cipollone was named White House Counsel by President Donald Trump in October 2018.[11][12] He succeeded Don McGahn who left office on October 17, 2018.[13] Emmet Flood served as counsel until Cipollone's background security check was completed.[14][15] Cipollone officially assumed the role on December 10, 2018.[16]

In his role as White House Counsel, Cipollone was the public face of the White House response to the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. In October 2019, he signed an eight-page letter to Democratic House leaders stating that the White House would not cooperate in any way with the inquiry. He laid out a broad view of executive authority and said that Democrats' actions violate "the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent".[17][3] This letter has been cited as evidence for the charge that President Trump was obstructing the House's impeachment inquiry.[18] In December 2019, Cipollone wrote two letters in response to an invitation from Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, for the White House or Trump himself to participate in its hearings. He said the White House and Trump would not participate because the planned hearings do not "provide the president with any semblance of a fair process" and the inquiry is "completely baseless".[19][20]

On January 14, 2020, Cipollone was named to the team of attorneys representing President Donald Trump in the impeachment hearing case.[21] During the Senate's impeachment trial, Cipollone misled Congress on a number of issues, including falsely claiming Republican congressional members were not allowed into the secure facility where classified information about the impeachment inquiry was being stored.[22]

On January 31, 2020, it was reported that Cipollone was present at a May 2019 White House meeting where President Trump directed his national security adviser John Bolton to "extract damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials."[23]

In January 2021, Cipollone was present at a White House meeting to discuss whether Trump should replace acting attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the Justice Departments Civil Division, who unlike Rosen was willing to pursue Trump's claims of election fraud and take other actions to help Trump overturn the 2020 election results. Cipollone reportedly argued against replacing Rosen, and strongly objected to a letter Clark wanted to send to Georgia state legislators urging them to void Biden's win in their state. One official later said, "Pat pretty much saved Rosen's job that day."[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Cipollone is a Roman Catholic, a founding member of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast and a board member of the Catholic Information Center.[25] Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham credited Cipollone with helping her convert to Catholicism in 2002.[26][27] He has ten children.[28] One of Cipollone’s daughters worked as a booker for The Ingraham Angle.[29]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Laviola, Erin (January 21, 2020). "Pat Cipollone's Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".
  2. ^ Haberman, Maggie (January 17, 2020). "Pat Cipollone: White House Counsel Who Will Help Lead Trump Legal Team". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c Williamson, Elizabeth (October 9, 2019). "As White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone Builds Case for Defiance on Impeachment". The New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  4. ^ Williams, Jason (January 23, 2019). "Who knew? Trump's top White House attorney is Covington Catholic High School graduate". Cincinnati Enquirer.
  5. ^ "Pat A. Cipollone Executive Profile". Bloomberg News. S&P Global. Archived from the original on October 14, 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Salama, Vivian (October 13, 2018). "Trump Likely to Name Pat Cipollone as Next White House Counsel". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "Pat Cipollone profile". Stein, Mitchell, Cipollone, Beato & Missner. Archived from the original on September 15, 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Scarcella, Mike (April 22, 2019). "White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's Financial Disclosure Shows $6.7M Income". National Law Journal. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  9. ^ "Cipollone, Pat_2019 New Entrant_Under WH Review.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Choma, Russ (December 13, 2019). "Why can't the top White House lawyer get his financial disclosure approved?". Mother Jones.
  11. ^ Perez, Evan (October 13, 2018). "Trump to name Pat Cipollone as White House counsel". CNN. Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "Read the transcript of AP's interview with President Trump". AP NEWS. October 17, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  13. ^ Schmidt, Michael S.; Haberman, Maggie (October 17, 2018). "McGahn, Soldier for Trump and Witness Against Him, Leaves White House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  14. ^ de Vogue, Ariane (October 18, 2018). "Don McGahn out as White House counsel, sources say". CNN. Archived from the original on June 17, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  15. ^ Betz, Bradford (October 18, 2018). "Don McGahn leaves as White House counsel, Emmet Flood steps into role". Fox News. Archived from the original on September 5, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Easley, Jonathan (December 10, 2018). "The Hill's Morning Report — Trump shakes up staff with eye on 2020, Mueller probe". The Hill. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  17. ^ "Letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone to House leaders". The Washington Post. October 8, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Freifeld, Karen (January 21, 2020). "White House lawyer in Trump trial is both defender and key witness to events". Reuters.
  19. ^ Cochrane, Emily (December 1, 2019). "Trump's Lawyers Won't Participate in Impeachment Hearing on Wednesday". The New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  20. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Fandos, Nicholas (December 6, 2019). "White House Signals Trump Won't Mount House Impeachment Defense". The New York Times. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  21. ^ O'Reilly, Andrew (January 14, 2020). "Trump's impeachment trial team: Who are the lawyers defending the president?". Fox News. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  22. ^ Levin, Bess (January 21, 2020). "Adam Schiff Shreds Trump Lawyer Pat Cipollone for Outright Impeachment Lies". Vanity Fair.
  23. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Schmidt, Michael S. (January 31, 2020). "Trump Told Bolton to Help His Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Book Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  24. ^ Zapotosky, Matt; Barrett, Devlin; Leonnig, Carol D. (January 23, 2021). "Trump entertained plan to install an attorney general who would help him pursue baseless election fraud claims". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  25. ^ Laviola, Erin (October 14, 2018). "Pat Cipollone: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Leonnig, Carol D. (October 13, 2018). "Trump has chosen Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone as next White House counsel, people familiar with decision say". Washington Post. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  27. ^ "Q&A with Laura Ingraham". CSPAN. December 5, 2005. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  28. ^ Ordoñez, Franco (December 23, 2019). "Trump Impeachment Trial Turns Spotlight On White House Lawyer Cipollone". NPR.
  29. ^ Strickler, Andrew (May 22, 2019). "Former Stein Mitchell Partner Touted as White House Counsel Problem Solver". Stein Mitchell Beato & Missner LLP. Retrieved January 20, 2020.

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by White House Counsel
Succeeded by