WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, President Donald Trump was in the Oval Office with his daughter Ivanka and Vice President Mike Pence’s national security advisor when he made yet another effort to pressure Pence.
Trump informed Pence again that he had a responsibility to reject Electoral College votes that would formally certify Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election, something the vice president had no ability to do in his ceremonial capacity in Congress at the time.
According to congressional testimony, Trump warned Pence, “You don’t have the bravery to make a difficult choice.” Pence refused Trump’s demand, delivering a long statement afterward setting out his judgment that he had no capacity to affect the decision, even after Trump labeled him a “wimp.”
Kellogg responded, “Yes, he is.”
The House committee investigating the incident now wants to know what more Ivanka Trump heard and observed that day as they attempt to piece together the story of the rioting and the involvement of the previous president in provoking them. Many of Trump’s top supporters tried desperately to urge him to intervene, and some even tried to use his daughter as a conduit.
A committee aide expressed optimism that she will soon commit to a meeting time.
Ivanka Trump was renowned as a rare voice in the White House who could get through to her father and persuade him out of disastrous choices, but her effectiveness was uneven. Since her father left government, the former first daughter has maintained a low profile and distanced herself from him and politics since relocating to Florida.
However, her closeness to him on Jan. 6 might offer the committee with direct access to what Trump was doing during the key three hours when his supporters stormed the Capitol violently.
“Ivanka Trump knows information about what happened in the days leading up to and on Jan. 6, as well as regarding the former president’s state of mind as events unfolded,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., a member of the panel.
It’s rare for congressional investigators to focus on a president’s family member, but as a key advisor to her father, she had a front-row seat to power.
Kellogg told the committee about the conversation, but Ivanka Trump, who is known for guarding her image and public profile, has remained silent.
Not just for Donald Trump, who is contemplating a political return in 2024, but also for others in the Republican Party who have minimized his participation in the uprising, the responses might have serious ramifications.
Ivanka Trump’s spokesperson did not reply to several requests for comment. However, a representative for her said in a statement released in late January that Ivanka Trump did not speak at the rally near the White House where the then-president urged supporters to “fight like hell” as Congress convened to certify the 2020 election results, and that she still believes that “any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable.”
Members of the committee are hoping to get beyond such broad claims.
“I chose to go primarily because I had hoped to soothe the president and assist keep the occasion on a level keel,” she allegedly told aides.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the bravery to do what should have been done to safeguard our country and our Constitution…” the former president tweeted after Trump’s address, as protesters started smashing through Capitol police barricades and breaking windows.
According to court evidence, the tweet merely increased the mob’s rage.
According to Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary, Trump’s attention was so rapt that he hit rewind and watched certain moments again while staffers watched in shock on television screens positioned throughout the West Wing as what was unfolding down Pennsylvania Avenue on television screens positioned throughout the West Wing.
According to Grisham, who previously served as chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump, Trump replied, “Look at all of the people fighting for me.” The president was perplexed at one point as to why his workers weren’t as enthralled by the upheaval as he was.
Staff encouraged Trump to take urgent action to address the violence engulfing the Capitol, Kellogg said, but Trump refused.
“Is someone on their way to Potus?” He must instruct the demonstrators to disperse. Alyssa Farrah Griffin, a former White House communications employee, texted Ben Williamson, an advisor to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, “Someone is going to be murdered.”
“For the last 30 minutes, I’ve been trying.” To urge him to put out the first one, I literally rushed into the outside oval. Williamson said, “It’s utterly ridiculous.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, then contacted Ivanka Trump and pleaded with her to “ask people to leave.”
She said, “We’re working on it.”
Staffers admitted at that time that, despite Meadows’, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s, and Kellogg’s attempts, the only person who could reach him would be his daughter.
According to evidence, Ivanka Trump made at least two “tenacious” efforts to reason with her father as workers were flooded with texts from Trump supporters pleading with him to stop the violence.
“Is he able to make a statement?” I noticed the tweet. “Ask folks to leave the (Capitol),” Meadows texted Fox News anchor Sean Hannity.
Kellogg, on the other hand, advised against asking the president to appear in the press room, where a number of reporters would be waiting for him.
In their letter to Ivanka Trump, legislators said that “apparently, some White House personnel thought that a live unscripted press appearance by the President in the middle of the Capitol Hill violence may have made the situation worse.”
In the end, the president consented to make a video message. Several takes were recorded but not utilized. According to the commission, he neglected to urge rioters to leave in any of the first takes.
Nearly two hours after Trump’s original tweet slamming Pence, the final video was uploaded on Twitter at 4:17 p.m.
“This was a rigged election,” Trump stated in the video. “But we can’t play into these people’s hands.” “We must achieve peace.” So get out of here. We adore you; you’re one of a kind.”
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice head of the House committee examining the riots, said it’s difficult to “imagine a more major and egregious abdication of duty” than Trump’s inability to stop the rioting on Jan. 6.
The 2020 election was “unceremoniously and savagely snatched away from great Americans who have been cruelly and unjustly treated for so long,” Trump tweeted at 6:01 p.m. that day.
“Go home with love and peace,” he said at the conclusion. Remember this day for the rest of your life.”
Meadows and Trump’s personal lawyer have been subpoenaed by the committee, which has interviewed almost 500 witnesses thus far. They are requesting Ivanka Trump’s voluntary cooperation.