On January 6, the committee heard conflicting testimony from key witnesses regarding the extent of Ivanka Trump’s efforts to persuade her father to condemn the attack on the United States Capitol.
During the initial months of 2022, the commission requested Ivanka Trump’s voluntary cooperation with the investigators via correspondence with Ivanka Trump. Chair Bennie Thompson, a representative from Mississippi affiliated with the Democratic Party, stated that investigators intend to inquire about former President Donald Trump’s conduct during the attack. The correspondence centered on White House personnel’s efforts to convince Trump to publicly denounce the escalating violence.
The aforementioned correspondence mainly relied on testimonial evidence provided by Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who served as the national security advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence during the incident in issue. According to the letter addressed to Ivanka Trump, Kellogg conveyed the White House staff’s desire for the President to take swift action to quell the ongoing unrest. Kellogg also believed that Ivanka Trump could play a role in persuading President Trump to issue a statement aimed at halting the violent acts.
“The testimony also suggests that you agreed to talk to the President, but had to make multiple efforts to persuade President Trump to act,” the letter continues. Then it quotes from the transcript of Kellogg’s interview.
“And so presumably the first time she [Ivanka Trump] went in, it wasn’t sufficient or she wouldn’t have had to go back at least one more time, I assume. Is that correct?” the transcript reads, quoting the investigator who was interviewing Kellogg.
“Well, yes, ma’am,” Kellogg replies. “I think she went back there because Ivanka can be pretty tenacious.”
However, two individuals familiar with the testimony have informed the select committee that other witnesses have provided differing accounts of the incident in question. Other witnesses, including the daughter of the previous president, have reportedly testified that Donald Trump posted a tweet expressing support for the Capitol Police shortly after she approached him and requested a statement regarding the assault.
He sent out that tweet at 2:38 p.m., saying, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” he wrote. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
In other words, according to these witnesses, it took the president’s daughter mere minutes to convince him to issue a statement in response to the violence.
Legal experts have stated that despite being a trivial aspect of the assault, it may have implications for Trump’s potential criminal exposure. In addition, select committee investigators endeavoring to piece together the definitive story of January 6 are focusing a great deal of attention on the president’s closest advisors, including his daughter, who was a senior White House official at the time.
According to a statement released by Kellogg’s counsel to POLITICO, the committee should adopt Ivanka Trump’s version of events.
“I defer to Ivanka,” said Kellogg. “She was in with 45 one-on-one. Never saw the transcripts from the 6 January committee so cannot comment on what was in the write-up.”
John Coale, Kellogg’s attorney, stated that Kellogg was referring to the transcripts of his and Ivanka Trump’s depositions.
A representative for Ivanka Trump did not respond to a request for comment, and a select committee representative declined to comment.
Nevertheless, it did not appear that Trump’s initial tweet had a significant impact on the unrest.
Additionally, it came under fire for telling citizens to “remain peaceful” while protestors assaulted law enforcement and broke into the Capitol. A paragraph the committee released stated that even President Trump Jr. thought that letter was insufficient on its own. “He must denounce this [crap] immediately. On January 6, 2021, he contacted then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, saying, “The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”
The attack continued, and Trump’s team demanded he say more. The president ultimately recorded a video message in the Rose Garden instructing the attackers to return home. Continuing, he said, “We adore you; you’re very special.”
However, members of the select committee have emphasized the significance of Ivanka Trump’s efforts to get her father to condemn the attack first.
“We know his daughter — we have firsthand testimony — that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the select committee, said in a January interview with ABC News, appearing to allude to Kellogg’s testimony.
Even if the investigation only encompasses a small portion of that day’s events, it may still be legally significant. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner stated in March on the Stephanie Miller Show that Trump’s refusal to heed his daughter’s pleadings may be proof of a crime.
“That is a president in a very real way, waging war against the United States,” he said. “Even his own daughter couldn’t stop him. That is deeply incriminating information. Presumably, it’s been provided by Ivanka under oath to the J-6 committee, and if I were prosecuting the case, she would be one of the very early witnesses I called.”
Kirschner stated, based on POLITICO’s recent reporting, that the committee may be setting up perjury traps for a number of its witnesses.