Ivanka Trump’s testimony against dad to be ‘sharply incriminating’: expert

The decision by special counsel Jack Smith to subpoena Ivanka Trump, the long-loyal daughter of Donald Trump, to testify before a federal grand jury is a “big deal” and will be “sharply incriminating,” a legal analyst said Wednesday.

Smith has subpoenaed Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, to testify about the former president’s efforts to stay in power after he lost the 2020 election, the New York Times reported Wednesday. Ivanka Trump and Kushner also are expected to be questioned about Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump supporters.

Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the Justice Department’s probe into the Jan. 6 resurrection. The New York Times said Smith’s decision to subpoena Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, who served as White House senior advisers, “underscores how deeply into Trump’s inner circle” the special counsel is reaching. It means that “no potential high-level witness is off limits.”

In this Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 file photo, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner dance at the Freedom Ball, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) 

Legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said the decision means a lot more. In his YouTube show “Justice Matters,” the former U.S. army prosecutor expects that Ivanka Trump will offer “some of the most powerful and some of the most incriminating testimony” against the 45th president.

“And it’s going to come from his own daughter, so, yeah, that’s a big deal,” Kirschner said. He pointed out that no one could accuse Trump’s reportedly favorite child of having a bias against him.

Ivanka Trump was in the Oval Office on Jan. 6 when her father placed a late-morning call to Pence to pressure him to block or delay congressional certification of the Electoral College results, affirming Joe Biden’s victory, the New York Times said. As president of the Senate, Pence served a ceremonial role of overseeing the process that day. Pence rejected Trump’s demands.

Ivanka Trump accompanied her father to the rally of his supporters at the Ellipse near the White House. Video shows her backstage with her father before the start of the rally. During Trump’s speech, he repeated false claims that his “election victory” had been stolen by “radical-left Democrats” and the “fake news media.”

Trump also said, “We will never give up, we will never concede,” as well as some words that Democrats in his 2021 Senate impeachment trial considered particularly incendiary, NPR reported. Trump said, “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Hundreds of Trump’s supporters then headed to the Capitol, where they attacked the building, some chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” for his refusal to do as Trump demanded.

That day Kushner returned from the Middle East and went to the White House after the pro-Trump mob had been rioting for hours, the New York Times said. Kushner and Ivanka Trump tried to get Trump to tell the rioters to go home and to commit to a peaceful transfer of power to Biden.

This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows Ivanka Trump, former White House senior adviser, during an interview displayed at a hearing by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, July 12, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP)
This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows Ivanka Trump, former White House senior adviser, during an interview displayed at a hearing by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, July 12, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP) 

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner previously testified before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, sharing their memories of that day in videotaped interviews. Clips from those interviews were played at public hearings last year. One showed Ivanka Trump making it clear that she accepted Attorney General William Barr’s declaration that there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the election.

Kirschner noted that Ivanka Trump’s former chief of staff, Julia Radford, also appeared before the Jan. 6 committee and testified about how Ivanka heard her father’s “upsetting” phone call with Pence. Radford said Ivanka Trump told her that her father had berated the vice president and called him “the p-word.”

“Putting that kind of evidence before the grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s responsibility for the insurrection, for the deadly attack on the Capitol, is a big deal,” Kirshner said.

Kirshner said Ivanka Trump’s testimony about that phone call could prove that Trump “was waging a pressure campaign against his own vice president, trying to get him to join (his conspiracy) and trying to get him to commit a number of federal felonies.”

“Donald trump was berating and belittling and pressuring and threatening and mocking and deriding,’ Kirshner continued. “He was trying to convince him to go to the Capitol on January 6 and violate the law, violate the Electoral Count Act. Donald Trump was trying to convince his vice president to go to the Capitol and obstruct the official proceedings of Congress certifying the election win of Joe Biden.”

Trump was “infuriated” when clips of Ivanka Trump’s testimony before the Jan. 6 committee were made public last June, the New York Times reported. He fumed on Truth Social, the social media platform he helped found, and tried to discount his daughter’s knowledge about the election results, Politico said.

“Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, election results,” Trump wrote. “She had long since checked out.”

Since leaving the White House in January 2021, Ivanka Trump has kept a low profile. She, Kushner and their three children relocated to Miami, Florida, about an hour and 20 minutes from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. She has maintained “family contact” with her father, the New York Times said, and she played a prominent role in the wedding of her younger sister Tiffany Trump, which took place at Mar-a-Lago in November.

Ivanka Trump’s absence from Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign kickoff in November was notable, given that she and her husband played high-profile roles in his 2016 and 2020 campaigns.

Jared Kushner, though, was present for the kickoff rally, along with other family members. Before the event, Ivanka Trump issued a statement, making it clear that she won’t be involved in the campaign and won’t return to work for him in the White House if he’s re-elected. Ivanka Trump said, “This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family.”

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