June 28, 2021
Mar 6, 2023
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin AP/Shutterstock
BOSTON – Lawyers Defending American Democracy has filed a detailed ethics complaint seeking the disbarment of Stefan C. Passantino, the lawyer initially representing key witness Cassidy Hutchinson before the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol. Prominent DC lawyers have joined as signers to this complaint.
Prior to his representation of Ms. Hutchinson, Attorney Passantino served as a member of former president Donald J. Trump’s Office of White House Counsel, including as his ethics advisor. The 18-page complaint meticulously sets forth the evidence against Attorney Passantino that demonstrates how he failed in his duty to represent his client, and instead protected the best interests of the former President. In doing so, Attorney Passantino interfered with the Committee’s efforts to unearth the facts behind the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
James McHugh, a principal author of the complaint and former MA Appeals Court judge, states:
LDAD Board member and former American Bar Association president Martha Barnett noted:
“Attorney Passantino tried to keep a pivotal witness from providing credible information to a governmental body investigating one of the most consequential events in our Nation’s history. His attempt to interfere with the administration of justice in the ways that he did undermine the carefully crafted rules guiding the attorney-client relationship and even cross lines into possibly criminal behavior.”
As the complaint states:
“It is a testament to Ms. Hutchinson’s character that she overcame Passantino’s pervasive misconduct and testified truthfully, becoming perhaps the key witness before the Committee. Her service to the interests of American democracy and the rule of law cannot be overstated. At the same time, Attorney Passantino’s efforts to obstruct and interfere with her contribution to the legislative and historical record cannot be rationalized, dismissed, or ignored if our professional code of ethics is to serve its critical purposes."
LDAD is filing its complaint with the disciplinary authorities in Georgia and New York where Mr. Passantino is also a member of the bar.
LDAD is inviting its supporters to join the list of prominent signers, which will be submitted in a supplemental filing.
You may add your name here. Signers are featured in the grid below. Please be aware, there is a lag between signing and your name appearing below.