Witnesses contradict critical testimony on how hard Ivanka Trump had to push the former president, Donald Trump, to call off the January 6 rioters. 

Three months ago, the panel sent a letter to Ivanka Trump asking her to cooperate with its investigators voluntarily. Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) said investigators wanted to ask her about former President Trump’s behavior as the attack unfolded. The letter homed in on White House staffers’ efforts to get Trump to speak out against the unfolding violence.

That letter leaned heavily on testimony from now-retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who was former Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser on the day of the attack. Kellogg “explained that White House staff wanted the President to take some immediate action to quell the unrest,” the letter to Ivanka Trump said, adding that Kellogg thought she could help get Trump to make a statement aimed at stopping the violence.

“The testimony also suggests that you agreed to talk to the President, but had to make multiple efforts to persuade President Trump to act,” the letter continues. Then it quotes from the transcript of Kellogg’s interview.

“And so presumably the first time she [Ivanka Trump] went in, it wasn’t sufficient or she wouldn’t have had to go back at least one more time, I assume. Is that correct?” the transcript reads, quoting the investigator who was interviewing Kellogg.

“Well, yes, ma’am,” Kellogg replies. “I think she went back there because Ivanka can be pretty tenacious.”

But multiple witnesses have described that specific episode differently to the panel, according to two people familiar with her select committee’s testimony. Those other witnesses, including the former president’s daughter herself, have testified that Trump sent out a tweet supporting Capitol Police just a few minutes after she first went in and asked him to say something about the attack, the people said.

He tweeted at 2:38 p.m., saying, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” he wrote. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

In other words, according to these witnesses, it only took the president’s daughter a few minutes to get him to send out a statement responding to the violence.

The statement Trump first tweeted out didn’t seem to affect the chaos. And it drew criticism for urging people to “stay peaceful” even as rioters attacked police officers and broke into the Capitol building. According to a text the committee released, even the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. saw that missive alone as insufficient. “He’s got to condemn this [shit] Asap. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,” he texted then-chief of staff Mark Meadows on January 6, 2021.

As the attack continued, Trump’s staff kept pushing him to say more. The president ultimately taped a video message in the Rose Garden telling the attackers to go home. “We love you; you’re very special,” he added.

Still, the significance of how much effort it took Ivanka Trump to get her father to first sound off against the attack has been amplified by members of the select committee.

“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,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), the vice-chair of the select committee, said in a January interview with ABC News, appearing to allude to Kellogg’s testimony.

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor, said in March on the Stephanie Miller Show that Trump’s defiance of his daughter’s pleas could be evidence of a crime.

“That is a president in a very real way, waging war against the United States,” he said. “Even his own daughter couldn’t stop him. That is deeply incriminating information. Presumably, it’s been provided by Ivanka under oath to the J-6 committee, and if I were prosecuting the case, she would be one of the very early witnesses I called.”

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