Since the January 6 committee was formed last July to investigate the events surrounding the attack on the Capitol, a not-insignificant number of Donald Trump’s allies have refused to cooperate, deciding they’d rather risk being charged with contempt of Congress than provide information that would undoubtedly cast the former president in a negative light. Two people who have surprisingly not followed that trend? His son-in-law and his daughter, the latter of whom spent a large chunk of time chatting with the committee last week.
Yes, following in Jared Kushner’s footsteps, Ivanka Trump reportedly spent nearly eight hours voluntarily testifying before the House select committee on Tuesday. While it’s unclear what the former first daughter told investigators, committee vice chair Liz Cheney said on Sunday that Ivanka’s “testimony was helpful,” during an interview in which the Wyoming representative, who has been castigated by her follow Republicans for speaking out against the 45th president, also said that it was “absolutely clear” that Trump knew his actions were “unlawful” but “did it anyway.” As The New Republic notes, eight hours is a lot of time for “probing questions” and answers, and Ivanka has unique insight into what her father was up to on January 6, as well as the days leading up to it. The committee presumably now knows what she was willing to share.
While Kushner—who provided “valuable” information during his seven-plus hours of testimony late last month, according to committee member Elaine Luria—was traveling on the day of the actual attack, Ivanka was not only in the White House but reportedly pressed her father to stop the violence on at least two occasions. In a letter sent to the former first daughter in January, the committee wrote that she was in the Oval Office during a phone call between her father and Mike Pence on the morning of January 6, when the then president reportedly accused his V.P. of not having “the courage” to block the certification of Biden’s win. In testimony before the panel, Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general who served as Pence’s national security adviser, said that after the president claimed Pence wasn‘t “tough enough” to overturn the results, Ivanka countered that “Mike Pence is a good man.” (For her part, Ivanka tweeted, “the violence must stop,” during the riot. She also initially addressed the people attacking the Capitol as “American patriots,” so there’s that.)
Obviously, there’s no reason to believe that Ivanka would give the committee the kind of information that could lead to her father, say, going to prison, but her and Kushner’s willingness to speak with the panel and not invoke their Fifth Amendment rights is notable. There’s also the matter of a CNN report from June alleging that a chilliness had developed between the couple and the ex-president, supposedly, in part, over the couple’s annoyance that he wouldn’t shut up about the 2020 election. The other thing that’s important to remember is that Jared and Ivanka’s go-to move while working in the administration was to literally flee the scene any time there was blowback over Trump doing something particularly bad, even for him, in the obvious hope people would forget they were senior advisers to the president. So if telling the committee what they know—even if it hurt Ivanka’s dear old dad—would help them? Well that seems like something they’d be happy to do.
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