January 24, 2022

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Jan. 6 panel has ‘firsthand testimony’ Ivanka Trump asked father to intervene in riot, Cheney says – NBC News

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The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot has testimony that then-President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump asked him to intervene as his supporters ransacked the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Sunday.

“The committee has firsthand testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the attack on television as the assault on the Capitol occurred. We know, as you know well, that the briefing room at the White House is just a mere few steps from the Oval Office,” Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

She said that at any moment, Trump could have walked to the briefing room and appeared on television.

“We know, as he was sitting there in the dining room next to the Oval Office, members of his staff were pleading with him to go on television, to tell people to stop. We know Leader McCarthy was pleading with him to do that,” she said, referring to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

“We know members of his family, 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,” she said.

In a one-minute video released on social media hours after the attack began, Trump repeated false claims about the election he lost while encouraging the rioters, who attacked the Capitol during a joint session of Congress to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes formalizing Joe Biden’s win, to “go home in peace.”

“Go home. We love you. You’re very special,” Trump said.

He tweeted later, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

Twitter took action against both messages and banned Trump after the riot, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Thompson said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that the panel believes Trump made “several videos” before he released the short clip and that it has asked the National Archives for videos that were never shared.

“It’s about 187 minutes,” he said in an interview that aired Sunday, referring to how long it took for Trump to urge his supporters to leave the Capitol after the attack began.

Representatives for Trump and his daughter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Over the past few months, the Jan. 6 committee has been accelerating its investigation into the riot, as well as any actions or inaction by Trump and his allies. The House voted last month to refer former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to the Justice Department for a criminal charge over his refusal to answer the committee’s questions.

The panel also recently asked Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Scott Perry, R-Pa., to provide information about their activities. The chair of the committee , Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Sunday that its ability to subpoena the lawmakers remains uncertain.

As the anniversary of Jan. 6 nears, Thompson appeared on three Sunday programs to discuss the congressional investigation and the pro-Trump rally that preceded the deadly event. Trump spoke at the rally and encouraged those who were there to march to the Capitol, where Congress was formalizing Biden’s win.

Jan. 6, 202100:47

Thompson said the panel has evidence of interactions between House members and rioters on Jan. 6 that may or may not be significant. He did not specify who.

“Now, ‘assisted’ means different things,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “Some took pictures with people who came to the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally. Some, you know, allowed them to come and associate in their offices and other things during that whole rally week. So there’s some participation.”

Thompson also said the panel intends to recommend legislation to improve intelligence gathering, which he said he hoped would ensure that “this will never, ever happen again.”

“As you know, it was clear that we were not apprised that something would happen. But, for the most part, it was the worst-kept secret in America that people were coming into Washington, and the potential for coordination and what we saw was there. So we want to make sure that never happens again,” he said on “This Week.”

A Senate report released in June, the product of a joint investigation by the Homeland Security and Rules committees, summed up what it says were profound intelligence and security failures that contributed to one of the worst incidents of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

The report found that a key contributor was the failure of the intelligence community to “properly analyze, assess, and disseminate information to law enforcement” about the potential for violence and the known threats to the Capitol.

In the report, an unnamed Capitol Police officer was quoted as saying: “We were ill prepared. We were NOT informed with intelligence. We were betrayed.”

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the riot was, “in part, an intelligence failure that is the failure to see all the evidence that was out there to be seen of the propensity for violence that day.”

Dec. 23, 202114:12

The Jan. 6 committee will also recommend legislation to better coordinate resources to protect the Capitol, Thompson said.

“There were significant inconsistencies in coordination. The National Guard from the District of Columbia was slow to respond, not on its own, but it had to go to the Department of Defense,” he said on “This Week.” “We want to make sure that the line of communication between the Capitol Police and the structure of how we make decisions is clear. Right now, it’s kind of a hybrid authority, and that authority clearly broke down.”

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