The House select panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol has extended an invitation to Ivanka Trump, requesting on Thursday that she appear before its members and “provide information” for its investigation.
In a letter to the former first daughter, committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) outlined that the panel was interested in asking Ivanka about “a range of critical topics.”
Thompson wrote that investigators had gathered evidence indicating that Ivanka had witnessed one side of a call between her father and then-Vice President Mike Pence on the morning of Jan. 6. Over the phone, the former president attempted to convince Pence to stop the counting of electoral votes.
According to the letter, when Pence refused, Trump said, “If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago. You’re going to wimp out.” Ivanka then allegedly turned to Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general also in the room, and said, “Mike Pence is a good man,” according to Kellogg’s testimony.
The committee also mentioned its desire to question Ivanka on whether White House staffers had requested her help “on multiple occasions” on Jan. 6 to “persuade President Trump to address the ongoing lawlessness and violence on Capitol Hill.”
In Kellogg’s testimony to the panel, he revealed that a “pretty tenacious” Ivanka then had to “make multiple efforts to persuade President Trump to act.” She was one of several close advisers, the letter noted, begging him to appear on television and talk the rioters down, including Donald Trump Jr., Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity.
“We are particularly interested in this question: Why didn’t White House staff simply ask the President to walk to the briefing room and appear on live television—to ask the crowd to leave the Capitol?” the committee said in its letter.
“Apparently,” the panel added, “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.”
The letter proposed meeting with the former president’s daughter for the “voluntary interview” in the first few days of February.
A spokesperson for Ivanka issued a statement Thursday in response to the letter.
“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement read, making bizarre reference to an event not mentioned in Thompson’s letter. “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 panel’s letter comes just two weeks after panel member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) mentioned in an interview with ABC News that the committee had “firsthand testimony that [Trump’s] daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence.”
Earlier on Thursday, Thompson had mentioned that the panel would be “inviting some people to come and talk to us,” according to Politico. “Not lawmakers right now,” he added. “Ivanka Trump.”
The latest move indicates that the panel’s investigative scope is narrowing to focus on Trump’s family. Two days ago, CNN revealed that the committee had obtained the phone records of Eric Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée.