January 6 panel wants to talk to Ivanka Trump

AP
Washington Hispanic:

President Donald Trump was in the Oval Office with his daughter Ivanka and Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser on the morning of January 6, when he again tried to pressure Pence.

Trump told Pence again that he had a duty to reject the electoral votes that would formalize Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, something the vice president had no authority to do in his ceremonial role before Congress that day.

“You don’t have the courage to make a tough decision,” Trump told Pence, according to congressional testimony. Even after being called a “softie” by the president, Pence rejected the demands, later issuing a statement in which he explained his conclusion that he had no power to influence the outcome.

After that call concluded, Trump turned to retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg and said, “Mike Pence is a good man.”

“It is,” Kellogg replied.

Now, the House committee investigating the assault on Congress wants to know what Ivanka Trump saw and heard that day as lawmakers try to piece together the puzzle that led to the insurrection and then-President Trump’s role in instigating it. There was a desperate attempt by many of Trump’s top supporters to convince him to intervene, with some attempting to directly use his daughter as his conduit.

A panel aide said they hope Ivanka Trump will be able to schedule a meeting with the commission soon.

During her time in the White House, Ivanka Trump was known as one of the few voices her father listened to and could talk him out of making bad decisions, albeit with mixed results. The former president’s daughter has stayed out of the public eye since her father left office and has distanced herself from him and politics since she moved to Florida.

But its proximity could give the commission a direct pass on what Trump did during those three hours, in which his supporters stormed the Capitol.

“Ivanka Trump has details of what happened before and during January 6 and about the former president’s state of mind during the events,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat on the panel, told The Associated Press.

It is highly unusual for congressional investigators to focus on a family member of a president but, as an adviser to his father, she was very close to power.

Kellogg revealed the conversation with the commission, but Ivanka Trump, known for taking care of her image and public profile, has not yet met with the panel.

Their responses could have a big impact not only on Donald Trump, who is aiming for a political comeback in 2024, but also among members of the Republican Party who have downplayed the former president’s involvement in the insurrection.