US Capitol attack inquiry requests interview with Ivanka Trump

House of Representatives panel is investigating deadly January 6th assault

Former US president Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. File photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former US president Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. File photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

 

The US House of Representatives panel investigating the deadly January 6th, 2021, attack on the US Capitol on Thursday requested an interview with former US president Donald Trump’s daughter and White House aide Ivanka Trump.

The attack on the US Capitol occurred as Congress gathered to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election in which Democrat Joe Biden defeated Republican Mr Trump and followed on from a rally in Washington, DC, in support of Mr Trump.

In a letter to Ivanka Trump, politicians said they were seeking her voluntary co-operation as part of their ongoing inquiry and would limit their questions to issues related to events surrounding that day, including activities leading up to it and her role in the White House at that time.

The panel noted that she “was present in the Oval Office” during key conversations leading up to January 6th, and observed a telephone conversation between her father and former vice-president Mike Pence on the morning of the Capitol attack. Mr Trump had attempted to persuade Mr Pence to reject the results of the election.

A statement released by Ivanka Trump’s spokesperson did not address whether she would co-operate with the committee’s investigation.

“Ivanka Trump just learned that the January 6th committee issued a public letter asking her to appear,” a spokesperson for Ivanka Trump said in a statement. “As the committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6th rally. As she publicly stated that day at 3.15pm, ‘Any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.’”

The committee said in its letter to Ivanka Trump that it was also investigating whether Donald Trump’s own White House lawyers determined that he broke the law by attempting to interfere with the election outcome.

“The committee has information suggesting that president Trump’s White House counsel may have concluded that the actions president Trump directed vice-president Pence to take would violate the constitution or would be otherwise illegal,” representative Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman, wrote in the letter to Ivanka Trump.

Federal agents

The committee said it also wanted to ask whether Ms Trump’s father made any effort to deploy federal agents or troops to end the January 6th violence, saying it so far has no evidence of that.

Mr Trump has blasted the committee’s inquiry as a partisan effort, and has sought to block other aides’ testimony and White House documents from reaching the panel.

US representative Liz Cheney, vice-chair of the committee and one of its two Republican members, said earlier this month that the panel has “firsthand testimony” that Ivanka Trump asked her father to intervene during the Capitol riots.

“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’,” Ms Cheney said in a January 2nd interview with ABC News’s This Week.

Ms Cheney last month shared text messages sent by Donald Trump jnr pleading with then White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to have the former president urge an end to the Capitol assault.

“He’s got to condemn this s**t ASAP,” Ms Cheney read aloud from a text sent by Trump jnr, the former president’s eldest son, to Mr Meadows.

The committee has spoken to about 400 witnesses and has issued dozens of subpoenas to compel testimony. – Reuters