We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection, where armed terrorists stormed the Capitol, assaulted Capitol police, tried to kidnap and hang members of Congress, smeared feces on the walls and tried to overthrow the democratically elected government. I honestly don’t believe that most Americans have fully “moved on” from what happened, and whenever I reflect back on that day, I just feel like… there really is no coming back from it. We now know that a significant portion of Americans thought those terrorist acts were totally fine.
I remember those hours where it felt like there was no leadership, and no one knew what the hell was going on or what was being done. We had reports on the day that Donald Trump was sitting in the White House, watching everything unfold. During the investigation into the insurrection over the past year, we’ve also learned that Trump was on the phone with various people, including members of Congress, all of whom begged him to call his people off. In recent days, the January 6 Committee has also learned that both Don Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump were trying to get through to their father that he needed to tell his people (his terrorists) to stand down.
Last month, we got a fun real-world example of the adage “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” when the January 6 committee revealed that Donald Trump Jr. had texted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about his father and the Capitol attack: “He’s got to condemn this sh-t ASAP. The Capitol police tweet is not enough” and “We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand.”
Then on Sunday, Liz Cheney, the select committee’s vice chair, noted in an interview that investigators have critical testimony further proving Donald Trump knew about the bloody insurrection but nevertheless did nothing to stop it, and it involves yet another one of his offspring. Speaking to ABC News, Cheney said that the panel has “firsthand testimony” that during the attack, Ivanka Trump at least twice asked her father to intervene to stop the scene unfolding at the Capitol. “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,’” Cheney said.
As CNN notes, I Alone Can Fix It, by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, and Peril, by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, include anecdotes in which Ivanka spoke to her dad on the day of January 6, telling him, according to Peril, “Let this thing go” and “Let it go.” On Sunday committee chairman Bennie Thompson told CNN’s Dana Bash, “We have significant testimony that leads us to believe that the White House had been told to do something. We want to verify all of it so that when we produce our report and when we have the hearings, the public will have an opportunity to see for themselves.” He added, “It’s highly unusual for anyone in charge of anything to watch what’s going on and do nothing.”
As for whether or not Ivanka can expect a subpoena from the select committee, that’s unclear, though as The Post noted over the summer, both she and Jared Kushner presumably have loads of “useful information” they could share.
In her interview, Cheney reiterated that not only is it abundantly clear that Trump acted—or more to the point, didn’t act—totally outrageously on that day last January, but that anyone who thinks this guy should be given another shot at the White House is out of their mind. “Any man who would not do so, any man who would provoke a violent assault on the Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes, any man who would watch television as police officers were being beaten, as his supporters were invading the Capitol of the United States, is clearly unfit for future office,” Cheney said. “Clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again.”
While I think it’s interesting that there are records and testimony of both Ivanka and Don Jr. trying (and failing) to get their dad to call off his people, I also think the focus of human-warnings misses the whole point? The point is that Donald Trump knew exactly what he unleashed. He knew exactly what kind of violent, sociopathic Nazis were part of his base. He actively incited them to attack the Capitol. He was actively trying to orchestrate the murders of his vice president, the Speaker of the House and members of Congress. This wasn’t a case of “Trump didn’t know what was going on until his kids warned him.” This was a case of a mad man watching his terrorist followers do exactly what he wanted them to do.
ICYMI: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) says “firsthand testimony” confirms Ivanka Trump asked her father to stop the insurrection. pic.twitter.com/TVyrH6QcxT
— The Recount (@therecount) January 3, 2022
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Twitter, Backgrid.