White House Waives Executive Privilege for Kushner, Ivanka Trump Testimony on Capitol Riots
13:31 GMT 30.03.2022 (Updated: 14:10 GMT 30.03.2022)
© AP Photo / Evan VucciIn this Saturday, May 20, 2017, file photo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, right, walks with Ivanka Trump at the Royal Court Palace, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Saudi Arabia's newest heir to the throne Mohammed bin Salman.
© AP Photo / Evan Vucci
The House select committee investigating the 6 January 2021 storming of the US Capitol has spent nine months on its inquiry, sifting through tens of thousands of documents and calling on dozens of former officials to testify in a search for evidence that Donald Trump encouraged the rioters. So far, the proof they’re looking for has eluded them.
The Biden administration will not assert executive privilege to withhold the testimony of Trump son-in-law and ex-senior White House adviser Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump from the public, the White House communications director Kate Bedingfield has said.
“The president has spoken to the fact that 6 January was one of the darkest days in our country’s history and that we must have a full account of what happened to ensure that it never occurs again. He’s been quite clear that [the events] posed a unique threat to our democracy and that the constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield from Congress or the public information about an attack on the constitution itself. So, as a result, the White House has decided not to assert executive privilege over the testimony of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump,” Bedingfield said in a briefing on Tuesday.
Kushner is expected to appear voluntarily before the House panel on Thursday.
Last month, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump said she was also in discussions with the committee about testifying.
Kushner and Ivanka served as senior advisers in the Trump administration, with the former given the task to help coordinate a major criminal reform Bill, the Middle East peace plan, the US-Mexico-Canada Trade agreement and the Covid pandemic response. Ivanka was tapped to serve as ‘director of the office of economic initiatives and entrepreneurship’, a position established especially for her, and took part in major diplomatic trips abroad.
29 March 2022, 15:49 GMT
Kushner was not at the White House on the day the Capitol riot took place. The House panel has alleged that Ivanka Trump was in the Oval Office while Trump spoke to his vice-president Mike Pence about throwing out electoral college votes from states where his campaign claimed that major election irregularities took place.
The couple will be among the highest-ranking former officials from the Trump administration to appear before the committee. Other officials, including former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, former chief strategist Steve Bannon and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino have been charged with criminal contempt for refusing to testify. Donald Trump has dubbed the committee another Democratic Party “witch hunt” akin to Russiagate.
The Supreme Court slapped down an attempt by Trump earlier this year to use executive privilege to prevent the committee from obtaining White House records.
The House inquiry has repeatedly threatened to refer charges against the former president to the Justice Department if it finds evidence of criminal wrongdoing on his part. On Monday, US District Judge David Carter said that Trump “more likely than not … corruptly attempted” to obstruct Congress by launching their “campaign to overturn a democratic election”. Trump has repeatedly denied all claims of wrongdoing.
28 March 2022, 16:59 GMT