Why Ivanka Trump’s Jan. 6 testimony is so important

Ivanka Trump, former President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, lately appeared voluntarily earlier than the House choose committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. She testified for eight hours, reportedly invoking no privileges. If she testified absolutely and honestly, there’s a excellent likelihood the knowledge she offered incriminated her father.

Only Ivanka Trump is aware of why she determined to testify when others near her father refused.

The Jan. 6 committee has interviewed greater than 800 witnesses as a part of its probe of the rebellion. The overwhelming majority of witnesses have cooperated with the congressional committee. But a small variety of the previous president’s closest advisers have refused to undergo questioning, some even defying lawfully issued congressional subpoenas.

Several such Trump administration loyalists have discovered themselves voted in contempt of Congress and referred to the Department of Justice for prison prosecution. Those who’ve defied subpoenas embrace his former chief of employees Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of employees for communications Dan Scavino and former advisers Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro. All have been voted in contempt of Congress, and all face potential prison prosecution, although up to now solely Bannon has been indicted (and he pleaded not responsible).

There are important dangers for individuals who selected the trail of contempt of Congress. Most instantly, if convicted, they might be sentenced to as much as one yr in jail on every rely of contempt. But that’s only for openers. If somebody has info and proof related to the crimes of others and refuses to offer such info to an investigative physique — whether or not Congress or a grand jury — that individual could also be subjecting themselves to different prison expenses: obstructing official proceedings, obstructing justice or accent after the very fact, amongst others. More essentially and in layman’s phrases, whenever you disguise proof of against the law, whether or not your personal crime or the crime of one other, there’s a time period for that: a cover-up.

This brings us again to Ivanka Trump. When referred to as to look as a witness earlier than the committee, she had a call to make: Do I testify about my father’s conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, on the threat of incriminating him? Or do I turn out to be a member of the cover-up membership with Bannon, Meadows and the others?

In a really actual and direct manner, Ivanka Trump’s testimony might be deeply damaging to her father. For instance, Keith Kellogg, former nationwide safety adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, reportedly instructed the committee that because the assault on the Capitol raged, a number of individuals tried to persuade then-President Donald Trump to sentence the violence and in essence to name off the assault that was in progress. These individuals included Kellogg himself, Meadows, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Ivanka Trump, Kellogg testified, based on a committee letter. Kellogg stated the president “rejected” all such “entreaties,” The New York Times reported. In a last-ditch effort, Ivanka Trump “went back there because Ivanka can be pretty tenacious,” he stated.

In a really actual and direct manner, Ivanka Trump’s testimony might be deeply damaging to her father.

This account from Kellogg paints a damning image of Donald Trump’s conduct because the Capitol assault was in progress. Just hours earlier, on the pre-insurrection rally on the Ellipse, he had instructed his supporters their votes had been stolen and “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He additionally instructed his viewers that “we must stop the steal.”

Ivanka Trump’s testimony might are likely to show that though her father was keen to inform his supporters to “stop the steal,” he was later totally unwilling to inform them to “stop the violence.” As a former profession prosecutor, I can guarantee you that this might be marquee proof at any eventual prison trial of Donald Trump over allegations of inciting an rebellion.

So Ivanka Trump determined to testify. Indeed, she apparently did so with out even trying to invoke any privilege, as others have carried out: no government privilege; no Fifth Amendment privilege towards self-incrimination; and, in fact, there isn’t a father-daughter privilege within the legislation.

Only Ivanka Trump is aware of why she determined to testify when others near her father refused. It’s price noting that her husband, Jared Kushner, reached the identical determination: Just days earlier than Ivanka Trump testified, Kushner equally testified at size earlier than the Jan. 6 committee, offering info that committee members referred to as “valuable” and “helpful” to the investigation.

There are a number of explanation why Ivanka Trump and Kushner might have made the choice to testify: maybe to avoid wasting themselves from contempt expenses; presumably to keep away from changing into members of the cover-up membership and risking additional scrutiny; possibly they thought they might navigate the interrogation with out offering any info that will be too dangerous to their father or father-in-law. Or possibly, simply possibly, their truthful testimony would absolutely exonerate the previous president, proving he did nothing unsuitable on or round Jan. 6, so that they fortunately offered stated testimony. Yes, I’d drop a dubious-faced emoji right here if I might.

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