Ivanka Trump testifies before the House panel on January 6 | Government and politics
By MARY CLARE JALONICK, LISA MASCARO and FARNOUSH AMIRI – Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former President Donald Trump and one of his relatives during the Capitol uprising, testifies before the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021 attack.
Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the committee, said Tuesday afternoon that she had been answering questions from investigators on a video conference call since the morning and was not “chatty” but that she had been helpful to the investigation.
“She came on her own” and didn’t have to be subpoenaed, Thompson said.
Ivanka Trump, who was with his father at the White House that day, is one of more than 800 witnesses the committee has interviewed as it strives to compile an account of the attack, the worst on the Capitol for more than two centuries. She is the first of known Trump children to speak to the committee and one of his father’s closest people.
Whether or not she gives the committee new information, her decision to cooperate is significant for the panel, which has been trying to secure an interview with her since late January. The nine-member panel is particularly focused on what the former president was doing as his supporters stormed into the Capitol and interrupted President Joe Biden’s certification of victory.
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Ivanka Trump’s testimony comes less than a week after her husband, Jared Kushner, testified before the committee in a separate virtual meeting that lasted more than six hours. Panel members said his testimony was helpful and hoped to further fill in the gaps with his help.
The panel is using the interviews to compile a comprehensive dossier and will begin releasing information in the coming months as it holds public hearings and releases a series of reports on the insurgency. While Congress doesn’t have the power to charge anyone with a crime, panel members say the goal is to create the most complete record possible so nothing like this happens again.
Lawmakers said they want to discuss what Ivanka Trump knew about her father’s efforts, including a phone call they say she witnessed, to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject Biden’s 2020 election victory as part of his ceremonial role overseeing the voter count. Pence rejected those efforts.
The committee is also interested in any concerns it may have heard from Pence staff, members of Congress and the White House Counsel’s Office regarding Trump’s pressure on Pence.
Ivanka Trump’s cooperation contrasts with some of her father’s other top advisers, several of whom have refused to cooperate as the former president has fought the investigation. Trump has tried to exercise executive privilege over documents and interviews, but in many cases it has been overruled by the courts or Biden, who has that authority as the sitting president.
The House is expected to vote this week to recommend contempt charges against Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino, who the committee found were uncooperative. The committee previously voted to recommend contempt charges against longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon, who defied a congressional subpoena, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who ceased cooperating with the panel.
Bannon was later indicted by a federal grand jury and awaits prosecution by the Justice Department. The Justice Department took no action against Meadows.
Other witnesses who are still close to the former president — and several who were at the White House that day — declined to answer the committee’s questions.
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