The House select committee investigating the January 6 riot is asking former President Donald Trump’s daughter and then-senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump to voluntary cooperate with its investigation, a major step for the panel closing in on the former President’s inner circle.
The committee publicly released a letter dated Thursday addressed to Ivanka Trump seeking “voluntary cooperation with our investigation.” In the letter, the committee revealed explosive new details about the former President’s actions on the days leading up to and on January 6.
A key investigative thread the panel wishes to discuss further with Ivanka Trump is her knowledge of her father’s efforts to try and stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election and the specific pressure campaign that he enacted on former Vice President Mike Pence to bend to his will.
The panel said Ivanka was privy to a telephone conversation between her father and Pence on the morning of January 6 where her father tried to convince Pence to impede the certification of the 2020 presidential election, where she could only hear her father’s side of the conversation.
A spokesperson for the former President’s daughter told CNN Thursday afternoon that “Ivanka Trump just learned that the January 6 Committee issued a public letter asking her to appear.”
“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the spokesperson said. “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.’ “
Pressed whether the statement means Trump will not comply with the invitation, the spokesperson did not respond.
Through testimony provided by Keith Kellogg — Pence’s national security adviser who was with Trump in the White House when the riot was happening — the panel discloses how the former President attempted to coerce Pence.
In sworn testimony to the committee, Kellogg confirmed that the former President told Pence, “You’re not tough enough to make the call.”
Kellogg also corroborated an account of the phone call where Trump claimed that if Pence did not do what he was asking, he had selected the wrong running mate.
“Mike, it’s not right. You can do this. I’m counting on you to do it. If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago. You’re going to wimp out,” the transcript of the interview read that Kellogg confirmed.
Kellogg also revealed in his testimony to the committee that after the phone call ended, Ivanka Trump turned to him and said, “Mike Pence is a good man” to which Kellogg affirmed, “Yes, he is.”
In its letter to Ivanka Trump, the panel reveals that it has testimony proving she was not the only person in the Trump White House who believed Pence did the right thing by not listening to Trump.
The panel shares that a former senior White House official with daily contact with Trump said of Pence’s actions on January 6, “I believe, yes, it was the right thing to do.” The committee also disclosed that this individual also believed that the election results were determined once election-related litigation concluded.
The panel is asking Ivanka Trump for her account of this conversation and any other ones she may have witnessed where her father discussed plans to obstruct or impede the election certification process.
Another example of a conversation the committee wants to ask Ivanka more about refers to documents it has on file that suggest the former President’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.”
The panel also reveals a new text exchange between a lawmaker from the House Freedom Caucus and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, where the lawmaker warns about the former President’s plans and asks Ivanka if she had similar conversations with Meadows, Pence or his staff.
“If POTOS [meaning President Trump] allows this to occur…we’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic” the text message reads.
The committee announced its plans to seek Ivanka Trump’s cooperation in a statement following remarks from its chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who cited the former President’s daughter in comments to reporters.
“You will anticipate the committee inviting some people to come talk to us,” Thompson said on Capitol Hill on Thursday. “Not lawmakers right now. Ivanka Trump.”
The panel had previously revealed that it is learning more about Ivanka Trump’s interactions with her father on the day of the attack on the US Capitol.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee and one of its two Republican members, told ABC News last month that the panel has “firsthand testimony” that during the attack, Ivanka Trump asked her father to intervene.
“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,'” Cheney told ABC News.
CNN previously reported on some of these interactions, described in the books “I Alone Can Fix It,” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, and “Peril,” by Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. Ivanka Trump repeatedly tried to intervene, talking to her father three times. “Let this thing go,” she told him. “Let it go,” she said, according to “Peril.”
The panel’s expected reach out to Ivanka Trump comes after CNN previously reported that the committee had subpoenaed and obtained records of phone numbers associated with one of Trump’s other children, Eric Trump, as well as Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is engaged to Donald Trump Jr., sources tell CNN. ( CNN / IM )