John is joined by Jim Wilkinson, Executive Chairman of TrailRunner International and Former White House Director of Communications. They discuss the art of preparing witnesses to testify before congressional committees which is very different than testifying in court. This includes the importance of researching the members of Congress who will question the witness, knowing the discussions occurring in online forums each member frequents, and the four to six categories of questions they are likely to ask. Using specific examples, they also discuss the importance of knowing and using “megatrends” in public opinion, the advantages of having a few key metaphors or “haymakers,” and the importance of preparing three or four “pivot points” to turn the force of an aggressive question away from the witness. Finally, they discuss the role counsel can play in preparing the witness including researching evidence that makes the witness’s points, helping the witness to make their key arguments cogently, and providing confidence that their testimony will not create any legal jeopardy.
Published: Feb 8 2024