Donald and Ivanka Trump at the Republican National Convention, July 2016
UPDATE, JAN 21:
The House select committee on the Capitol Attack requests cooperation from Ivanka Trump, amid mounting evidence of attempts to get Donald Trump to denounce the assault by his supporters on January 6, 2021.
The committee wrote Ivanka Trump that it had evidence of multiple White House officials — and of her — appealing to Trump to halt the violent attempt to block the Congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden.
Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi added, “Apparently, certain White House staff believed that a live, unscripted press appearance by the president in the midst of the Capitol Hill violence could have made the situation worse.”
Witnesses have already testified to the committee about the attempted intervention by Ivanka Trump as well as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and Fox TV personalities such as Trump’s friend Sean Hannity.
Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, the national security advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, told the committee that he asked for Ivanka Trump’s assistance after her father rejected the initial appeals. He said he had recommended “very strongly” against Donald Trump speaking on live television, because his “press conferences tend to get out of control”.
Kellogg also reinforced the evidence of an attempt by Trump’s inner circle to have Pence, presiding over the Congressional certification, throw out Biden electors and send the decision to the House of Representatives.
Kellogg said he and Ivanka Trump overheard Donald Trump pressuring Pence in a January 6 phone call. As Donald Trump told Pence that he was not “tough enough”, Ivanka Trump turned to the retired general and said, “Mike Pence is a good man.”
A spokesman for Ivanka Trump said:
As the committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally. As she publicly stated that day at 3:15 p.m.: “Any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.”
UPDATE, JAN 19:
The House select committee on the Capitol Attack subpoenas Rudy Giuliani and other lawyers who amplified Donald Trump’s lies and disinformation but failed to overturn the November 2020 Presidential election.
Testimony and documents are being sought from Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, and Boris Epshteyn.
The group and other Trump-linked attorneys lost all but one of more than 60 cases, including an approach to the Supreme Court, filed after President Joe Biden’s victory. Meanwhile, they pushed unsupported conspiracy theories such as a plot by Venezuela, Cuba, “Antifa”, philanthropist George Soros, and Biden to alter the outcome with rigged voting machines.
Giuliani and Powell are being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation, and they also face disbarment over their actions.
The committee said Epshteyn, who promoted claims of election fraud in Nevada, attended planning meetings and was involved in a call with the Trump camp on January 6 about options to block the Congressional certification of President Biden later that day.
Giuliani appeared at Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House, which commanded supporters to march on the Capitol and halt the certification. He told the Trumpists to pursue “trial by combat”. As attackers roamed through the building, he called legislators in an attempt to block the completion of the vote confirming Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said, “The four individuals we’ve subpoenaed today advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results or were in direct contact with the former President about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes.”
A committee letter to Giuliani cited “credible evidence” that he participated in attempts to “disrupt or delay the certification of the election results”, persuade state legislators to “take steps to overturn the election results”, and urge Trump to order the seizure of voting machines.
UPDATE, JAN 13:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refuses to cooperate with the House select committee on the Capitol Attack.
McCarthy announced the refusal on Wednesday, soon after the committee issued a request for an interview.
Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi wrote McCarthy:
It appears that you may also have discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump’s immediate resignation from office.
Like GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and Scott Perry, who have been asked for interviews because of their central role in planning with the Trump camp for January 6, McCarthy said the committee is “illegitimate” with the “only objective…to attempt to damage its political opponents.
The GOP leader was in close contact with Donald Trump before, during, and after the Trumpist assault. As hundreds of Trump supporters roamed through the building, threatening to kill Vice President Mike Pence and legislators gathered to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, McCarthy called Trump and appealed for his intervention.
Trump responded with the sneer, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” McCarthy said attackers were breaking into his office through the windows, and asked Trump, “Who the fuck do you think you are talking to?”
McCarthy initially criticized the attack and said Trump “bears responsibiity” and challenged “the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president”. However, he soon assailed Democrats over the impeachment of Trump for incitement of violence. By the end of January, he was paying tribute with a visit to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, posing for a photo with an exultant Trump and retracting his criticism.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, JAN 11: Former Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly holding out on cooperation with the House select committee investigating the Capitol Attack of January 6, 2021.
“People briefed on the discussions” said Pence’s lawyer has been in talks with the committee over an interview with investigators. However, Pence is indicating that he is still undecided.
The former Vice President has a central position in the events before and during the attack by hundreds of Trumpist supporters. In the run-up to January 6, he was involved in talks among the Trump camp about how to prevent President-elect Joe Biden entering the White House. Ultimately, he blocked a plan — in conjunction with Trump’s lies about a “stolen election” — to deny Congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College triumph, saying that he would not exceed his authority as chair of the January 6 session.
In a speech outside the White House just before the attack, Trump chided his Vice President — “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” and called on supporters to march on the Capitol. Attackers called for the execution of Pence and legislators as they sought a safe space in the building.
“People familiar with his thinking” say Pence is increasingly disillusioned with voluntary cooperation, telling aides that the committee has taken a partisan turn with its consideration of criminal referrals to the Justice Department.
The sources said Pence believes the referrals are hoping to hinder Republicans from winning control of Congress in November elections. His calculations may also include a possible run for President in 2024.
Pence is also said to be upset with the committee for portraying cooperation by his staff, seeing this as an attempt to divide his team.
Trump has ordered current and former staff not to provide testimony and documents to the committee. Several — including legislators who worked with the Trump camp on the plans for January 6 — have complied, with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, ex-chief strategist Steve Bannon, and former Justice Department official Steve Bannon facing contempt of Congress charges.