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Jan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to give voluntary testimony

The committee said it has evidence that Ivanka Trump was "in direct contact" with her father on the day of the riot.

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has invited Ivanka Trump to give voluntary testimony.

In a letter sent Thursday to former President Donald Trump's eldest daughter, who served as a top White House adviser, the committee's chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said it was seeking information about her communications with the White House surrounding the attack.

The committee said it that has evidence that Ivanka Trump was "in direct contact" with her father on the day of the riot and that she may have "direct knowledge" of the former president's efforts to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to block Congress' certification of the 2020 election results.

A spokesperson for Ivanka Trump told NBC News that she "just learned that the January 6 Committee issued a public letter asking her to appear. As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally. As she publicly stated that day at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.’”

The committee's letter does not allege that she spoke at the rally.

The committee said it obtained text exchanges and testimony given by White House officials at the time describing efforts to convince the former president to intervene in the riot. The letter cited a text message exchange that it says occurred between a White House staff member and a person outside the White House.

"Is someone getting to potus? He has to tell protestors to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed," said a person outside the White House staff, according to the committee.

According to the committee, the White House staff member replied: "I've been trying for the last 30 minutes. Literally stormed in outer oval to get him to put out the first one. It's completely insane."

The letter also cited testimony from Keith Kellogg, who was Pence's national security adviser at the time and told the committee that Ivanka Trump made multiple attempts to convince her father to step in.

The committee also wants to discuss the effort after the attack "to persuade President Trump not to associate himself with certain people, and to avoid further discussion regarding election fraud allegations," said the letter.

The committee said it also obtained texts between Fox News host Sean Hannity and then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Jan. 7 laying out a planned approach for conversations with Trump.

"No more stolen election talk," said Hannity in a text to McEnany, according to the letter.

The letter says she replied: "Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce ... "

Thompson requested to meet with Ivanka Trump in early February.

Earlier this month, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said the panel has testimony that Ivanka Trump asked her father to intervene as his supporters ransacked the Capitol.

"The committee has firsthand testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the attack on television as the assault on the Capitol occurred. We know, as you know well, that the briefing room at the White House is just a mere few steps from the Oval Office," Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, said on ABC News' "This Week" on Jan. 2.

She said that at any moment, Trump could have walked to the briefing room and appeared on television.

"We know members of his family, 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.

Over the past few months, the committee has been accelerating its investigation into the riot, as well as any actions or inaction by Trump and his allies. The panel also recently asked Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Scott Perry, R-Pa., to provide information about their activities. Thompson, as chairman, said that the committee's ability to subpoena the two lawmakers remains uncertain.