The House Jan. 6 Committee on Thursday sent a letter to Ivanka Trump seeking her voluntary cooperation in the probe of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The panel said Ms. Trump, the daughter of former President Donald Trump and a top adviser in his White House, was “in direct contact with the former president at key moments on January 6th” and “may have information relevant to other matters critical to the Select Committee’s investigation.”
The move marks an escalation in the committee’s efforts to sway those closest to Mr. Trump to come forward with information.
The committee said it is looking for information Ms. Trump may have regarding her father’s alleged attempts to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to stop the electoral vote count.
“As January 6th approached, President Trump attempted on multiple occasions to persuade Vice President Pence to participate in his plan. One of the President’s discussions with the Vice President occurred by phone on the morning of January 6th,” Rep Bennie G. Thompson, the committee chairman, wrote in his letter to Ms. Trump. “You were present in the Oval Office and observed at least one side of that telephone conversation.”
The committee is also seeking information regarding Mr. Trump’s actions during the riot.
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Mr. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, said the committee has received testimony that indicates White House staff requested Ms. Trump’s assistance in their attempts to persuade the president to “address the ongoing lawlessness and violence on Capitol Hill” during the attack.
“The Committee is aware that certain White House staff devoted time during the violent riot to rebutting questions regarding whether the President was attempting to hold up deployment of the guard[…],” Mr. Thompson wrote. “But the Committee has identified no evidence that President Trump issued any order, or took any other action, to deploy the guard that day. Nor does it appear that President Trump made any calls at all to the Department of Justice or any other law enforcement agency to request deployment of their personnel to the Capitol.”
The letter to the former president’s daughter is a sign that the committee is emboldened. It came a day after the Supreme Court overturned Mr. Trump’s appeal to block the release of White House documents to the committee.
Yet, notably, the committee is requesting Ms. Trump’s voluntary participation in the probe, rather than demanding documents and testimony through a subpoena.
Earlier this week, the committee issued subpoenas to other members of the Trump family. The committee sought phone records from Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancee, Kimberly Guilfoyle.
The committee has taken a similar approach to compel three sitting Republicans in Congress to voluntarily turn over information, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. All three members declined to participate in the probe and decried the Democrat-led committee as a political witch hunt.
Republicans contend that the Democrat-led panel has weaponized the events of Jan. 6 for political gain and use the committee’s probe to smear Mr. Trump and the GOP.
Democrats insist the sole aim of the probe is to uncover the truth about what led to the Capitol riot and ensure a similar event never takes place again.
“A full and accurate accounting of what happened on January 6th is critical to the Select Committee’s legislative recommendations,” Mr. Thompson wrote in his letter to Ms. Trump. “And the American people deserve to understand all the relevant details.”