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Five takeaways from the Capitol Riot Committee’s request for Ivanka Trump’s testimony

Thursday marked the first time a member of President Donald Trump’s own family has been formally involved in the Capitol Riot Committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack.

Ivanka Trump, the former president’s eldest daughter, has been told the committee will be seeking her voluntarily testimony regarding the events of January 6 and the actions her father took as the riot unfolded.

As a White House adviser who joined the Trump White House in early 2017, Mrs. Trump is one of Trump’s longest-serving aides whose testimony has been sought. She released a defiant statement in response that sought to downplay her involvement and suggested she would resist the committee’s request in the absence of a subpoena.

The committee’s request, along with Mrs. Trump’s own statement in response to their letter, revealed a number of important details not only about the current scope and focus of lawmakers on the panel, but also about the state of Mrs. Trump’s mind and potentially on the feelings of other members of the ex. – the entourage of the president.

Here are some things we can reflect on from today’s news:

A play-by-play of Donald Trump’s actions during the riot remains the panel’s top priority

In the committee’s statement on Thursday and in recent comments to the media, members of the Jan. 6 panel made it clear that they had evidence to suggest that Ivanka Trump was one of the few people in direct contact with the president while the riot unfolded.

Chairman Bennie Thompson said: “Testimony obtained by the Committee indicates that White House staff members repeatedly requested your assistance to intervene in an attempt to persuade President Trump to address the lawlessness and ongoing violence on Capitol Hill.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, added in an interview with ABC News that she and her colleagues had “first-hand testimony that … Ivanka came in at least twice to ask him to ‘if he please stop this “violence” during the attack.

Mrs. Trump’s request for testimony means that the panel’s current focus is to learn exactly what she said to her father at those times, and why the president was ignoring advice from his own staff to intervene either by a request to deploy the National Guard, or through a call for his supporters to leave the building.

Missing in Action: Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor

Ivanka Trump didn’t join the White House alone; Jared Kushner, her husband and son-in-law to the President, arrived in Washington at the same time and served in his father-in-law’s administration as a senior adviser on many high-profile issues during his career. 2017-2020.

But he was nowhere to be found in Mrs. Trump’s committee request for information on Thursday, and the committee has yet to mention his name in any serious capacity until now either. Because the committee typically sends requests for information to several potential witnesses at once when they seek to testify for related reasons, the development suggests Mr. Kushner’s activities and ideas are not of particular interest to lawmakers.

This would follow reports from 2021 which suggested Mr Trump’s former close aide and member of Mr Trump’s closest circle of confidants had clearly backed away from engaging with his boss/wife’s father in the days following the 2020 election. as Mr Trump embraced a wide range of conspiracies over his loss to Joe Biden.

Ivanka deflects blame and in doing so reveals her thinking

The former president’s eldest daughter responded to the Jan. 6 committee Thursday minutes after lawmakers’ request for information became public knowledge.

In a brief statement to NBC News, a spokesperson for Mrs. Trump said: “Ivanka Trump has just learned that the January 6 committee has released a public letter asking her to appear. As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally.

“As she stated publicly that day at 3:15 p.m., ‘Any breach of security or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable’. The violence must end immediately. Please be peaceful .

The statement was odd for two reasons. First, and obviously, the letter from the committee makes no mention of the rally on the Ellipse that took place just before the attack on the Capitol; While the president’s remark urging his fans to “fight like hell” at that rally has been blamed for encouraging his supporters to storm the Capitol, that’s not the committee’s sole purpose nor the why lawmakers are asking Mrs. Trump for information.

But her spokesperson’s statement reveals a crucial fact: Ivanka Trump clearly sees a reason to distance herself from the rally at the Ellipse, and the remarks her own father made to his supporters at the start of the attack on Capitol.

This suggests that if she were forced to testify, she could be persuaded to say that she believes remarks made by the president that day were at least partly responsible for the bloody assault on members of the Capitol police. and the Capitol complex itself.

Ivanka sided with Mike Pence over her father over Electoral College objections

One of the most startling revelations from the committee’s latest briefing is that Ivanka Trump apparently told former national security adviser Keith Kellogg that she agreed with Vice President Mike Pence’s decision. not to interfere in the counting of the votes of the electoral college.

In Mr. Kellogg’s testimony to the committee released in part by lawmakers on Thursday, the retired general recounted how the first daughter had turned to him and praised the vice president as a “good man” after a phone call in which his father berated Mr. Pence for refusing to interfere in the election process, as his allies had pressured Mr. Pence to do.

Coupled with her husband’s reluctance to engage with the president after November 2020, this suggests a rift within the Trump family itself over whether the 2020 election was “stolen” and the Trump campaign. former president to undo his defeat.

White House ties to ‘crazy people’ under investigation

Towards the end of the committee’s request for information from Mrs. Trump, a line revealed another focus of the panel’s work: the effort to determine the extent of communications between White House staffers and supporters of the election theft plots in the days and weeks after the riot took place.

It appears to have been triggered by a text obtained by the committee between Fox News host Sean Hannity and Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, in which Hannity told the aide that the president should stop being exposed to “madmen” and partisans. fraud theories.

In the letter from the committee, the lawmakers write that they obtained “information suggesting that White House staff and others were trying to persuade President Trump to end his statements regarding a ‘stolen election’ and were working directly with other supporters outside the White House in an effort to persuade President Trump to do so.

“The select committee would like to discuss this effort after Jan. 6 to persuade President Trump not to associate with certain individuals and to avoid further discussion regarding allegations of voter fraud,” reads the committee’s letter. .

Much of the committee’s attention thus far has been on the day of the riot itself as well as the weeks leading up to it; it’s the first confirmation in weeks that the panel is still at least partially focused on the president’s final weeks and potentially his post-presidential activities.


The Independent Gt

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