Ivanka Trump testifies before panel probing US Capitol riot

The testimony from the former president’s eldest daughter comes after her husband last week appeared before the panel.

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to former President Donald Trump, has testified before a House panel investigating the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol [File: Charlie Neibergall/The Associated Press]

Former President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter has testified before a congressional committee investigating the deadly January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol.

Ivanka Trump answered questions for about eight hours on Tuesday before the panel, which had originally requested her testimony in January. Her appearance, which was closed to the public, came a week after her husband, Jared Kushner, gave testimony before the committee.

The couple, both White House advisers at the time, had reportedly urged Trump to call off protesters as they stormed the US Capitol on January 6 as legislators met to certify the election victory of President Joe Biden.

The event followed a weeks-long misinformation campaign by Trump and his allies, in which they perpetuated unfounded claims of widespread fraud and alleged that the election was “stolen”.

Representative Bennie Thompson, the panel’s Democratic chairman, told reporters that Ivanka was generally cooperative.

“She’s answering questions. I mean, you know, not in a broad, chatty term, but she’s answering questions,” he said.

“She came in on her own, that has obviously significant value,” he added. “We did not have to subpoena.”

Further details of Ivanka Trump’s testimony, and its significance to the investigation, were not immediately available.

US Representative Zoe Lofgren had previously described Kushner’s testimony to CNN Tonight as “a useful exchange”.

The committee has so far interviewed hundred of witnesses and collected thousands of documents during its investigation, which has sought to pierce Trump’s inner circle to determine if any crimes were committed surrounding the Capitol riot. Such a determination could lead the panel to criminally refer Trump to the Justice Department.

Several Trump allies have resisted giving testimony to investigators. The panel has so far referred four Trump aides to the wider chamber for criminal contempt of Congress. The referral of Trump ally Steve Bannon later led to criminal charges by the Justice Department.

Ivanka Trump’s testimony follows revelations of a seven-hour gap in Trump phone logs during the Capitol violence.

The gap has led to speculation that Trump used a personal or disposable “burner” phone to bypass a law that requires the preservation of White House records, including phone logs.

Trump has denied using a “burner” phone, or even knowing what one is.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies