Special Counsel Subpoenas Jared & Ivanka in January 6 Probe

February 22, 2023

Jack Smith, the special counsel charged with overseeing the investigation into former President Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection and attempt to overturn the 2020 Presidential election, has subpoenaed Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Ms. Trump was in the Oval Office on January 6 when her father placed a late-morning call to then-Vice President Pence to pressure him to block the certification of the Electoral College vote—certifying Joe Biden’s victory—at the Capitol that day. 

Later that day at his “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the deadly riot at the Capitol, Trump said to the crowd, “I hope Mike Pence is going to do the right thing” and refuse to certify the results. 

Pence, who is currently fighting a subpoena from Smith, was 40 feet from the mob when he fled from the rioters inside the Capitol building, shouting, “Hang Mike Pence!”

Both Kushner and Ms. Trump testified before the House Select Committee that investigated January 6 last year.

In videotaped interviews that the Committee televised, Ms. Trump conceded that then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s assertion that there was no widespread fraud that could have impacted the 2020 election results “affected my perspective,” adding, “I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accepted what he said—was saying.”

Kushner, meanwhile, told the Committee that he was aware that White House counsel Pat Cipollone had threatened to resign over then-President Trump’s outlandish efforts to stay in power. However, Kushner downplayed any engagement he, himself, might have had in the process, saying, “[M]y interest at that time was on trying to get as many” Presidential pardons finished as possible. He added that he’d chalked up threats to resign as “whining.” 

On January 6, 2021, Kushner had flown back from a trip to the Middle East and only arrived at the White House after the pro-Trump mob had been rioting for hours. Even so, both he and Ms. Trump took part in efforts to get the President to convince the rioters to go home, and then to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

The Times noted on Wednesday that the decision by Smith to subpoena Ms. Trump and Kushner “underscores how deeply into [the former President’s] inner circle” the special counsel is reaching, and that it is the latest sign that “no potential high-level witness is off limits.” 

On MSNBC Wednesday afternoon, former January 6 Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said, “That this subpoena has been issued shows that the special counsel is serious about this, and I think that the drilling down that will occur in a grand jury setting is likely to be effective.”

An aide to Ms. Trump and Kushner did not respond to the Times’ request for comment. A spokesman for the special counsel also declined to comment.

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