House Jan. 6 committee requests interview with Ivanka Trump
WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection is asking Ivanka Trump, daughter of former President Donald Trump, to voluntarily cooperate as lawmakers make their first public attempt to arrange an interview with a Trump family member.
The committee sent a letter Thursday requesting a meeting in February with Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser to her father. In the letter, the committee chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Ivanka Trump was in direct contact with her father during key moments on Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to halt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s presidential win.
The riot followed a rally near the White House where Donald
Trump had urged his supporters to “fight like hell” as Congress convened to certify the 2020 election results.
The committee says it wants to discuss what Ivanka Trump knew about her father’s efforts, including a telephone call they say she witnessed, to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject those results, as well as concerns she may have heard from Pence’s staff, members of Congress and the White House counsel’s office about those efforts.
“Ivanka Trump just learned that the January 6 Committee issued a public letter asking her to appear,“her spokesperson said. “As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally.”
The committee cited testimony that Ivanka Trump implored her father to quell the violence by his supporters and investigators want to ask about her actions while the insurrection was underway.
The letter is the committee’s first attempt to seek information from inside the Trump family. Earlier this week, it issued subpoenas to lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other members of Trump’s legal team who filed meritless court challenges to the election that fueled the lie that the race had been stolen from Trump.
The committee is narrowing in on three requests to Ivanka Trump, starting with a conversation alleged to have taken place between Donald Trump and Pence on the morning of the attack. The committee said Keith Kellogg, who was Pence’s national security adviser, was also in the room and testified to investigators that Trump questioned whether Pence had the courage to delay the congressional counting of the electoral votes.
The letter also mentioned a message, in the days before the scheduled vote certification on
Jan. 6, 2021, between an unidentified member of the House Freedom Caucus to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows with an explicit warning: “If POTUS allows this to occur … we’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic.”
The other requests in the letter to Ivanka Trump concern conversations after Donald Trump’s tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” The committee said White House staff and even members of Congress requested Ivanka Trump’s help in trying to convince her father that he should address the violence and tell rioters to go home.
“We are particularly interested in this question: Why didn’t White House staff simply ask the President to walk to the briefing room and appear on live television — to ask the crowd to leave the capital?“