Ethics Panels Clear Former Lawyer of Jan. 6 Witness Complaints

Legal Ethics Watchdogs Dismiss Complaints Against Lawyer in Capitol Attack Aftermath

Legal ethics watchdogs in the District of Columbia and Georgia have recently dismissed complaints against lawyer Stefan C. Passantino. The complaints alleged that he pressured a former client, Cassidy Hutchinson, to protect former President Donald J. Trump by remaining loyal and saying little to Congress about his conduct leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

Dismissal of Complaints

In their dismissal of the complaints, the State Bar of Georgia and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel with D.C.’s Board on Professional Responsibility cited a lack of sufficient evidence against Passantino. This decision was based on documents provided by Passantino’s lawyer.


Passantino came under scrutiny when Hutchinson, a former Trump White House aide, hired a different lawyer and provided more damaging details about Trump to the House committee investigating the events of the Jan. 6 riot. Passantino had previously worked in the White House Counsel’s Office under Trump, with his legal fees being covered by Trump’s political action committee.

Allegations and Responses

Hutchinson told Congress that Passantino advised her to say she remembered little and promised her a lucrative position in ‘Trump world.’ These allegations led to complaints seeking Passantino’s disbarment by various critics, including Lawyers Defending American Democracy.

Passantino’s lawyer, Ross Garber, celebrated the outcome while rejecting the accusations of misconduct against his client. He stated that despite the severe consequences Passantino faced, he would continue his distinguished legal career.

Reactions and Further Actions

Lawyers Defending American Democracy expressed regret over the limitations faced during the inquiries into the main allegations against Passantino. The group highlighted the ethical concerns regarding Passantino’s representation of Hutchinson.

Notably, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in D.C. faulted Passantino for violating a rule requiring him to provide Hutchinson with written documentation outlining the scope of his representation and legal fees. Passantino acknowledged this violation and was directed to undertake legal ethics training classes as part of a probationary period.

Insufficient Evidence

Despite the allegations made by Hutchinson, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in D.C. indicated that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with further investigations, except for the violation of the rule regarding written documentation. A similar decision was reached by the State Bar of Georgia, which also cited a lack of substantial evidence to justify formal proceedings against Passantino.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-03-19 21:16:37

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