Posts tagged with "Electoral College results"

Ivanka Trump to testify to House panel investigating January 6 attack

April 6, 2022

Ivanka Trump—former President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, who served as one of his senior advisers—was scheduled to testify on Tuesday, April 5, before the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, reports The New York Times.

Trump reputably was one of several aides who tried to persuade the president to call off the violence at the U.S. Capitol that ultimately injured more than 150 police officers; and sent lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence fleeing for safety, according to evidence gathered by the committee.

The schedule for her testimony, which was reported earlier by NBC News, came just days after her husband, Jared Kushner, who was also a top adviser to Trump, sat for an interview and provided what one member of the panel described as “valuable” and “helpful” information.

“There were some things revealed, but we’ll just share that a little later,” Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), the chairman of the committee, said of Kushner’s testimony.

Trump and Kushner are among the highest-ranking Trump White House officials to testify before the committee. The interviews have been closed to the public as the panel conducts its work in secret.

Indeed, Ivanka Trump’s lawyers have been in talks with the committee since January, when it sent her a letter requesting voluntary testimony. In the letter, dated January 20, the committee said it had heard from Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general who was Pence’s national security adviser.

Kellogg had described the former president’s refusal to condemn the violence as the mob engulfed the Capitol, even as White House officials—including Ivanka Trump, at least twice—urged him to do so, the letter said.

Kellogg testified that the president had rejected entreaties from him; as well as from Mark Meadows, his chief of staff, and Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary. Kellogg then appealed to Ivanka Trump to intervene.

“She went back in, because Ivanka can be pretty tenacious,” Kellogg testified.

Kellogg also testified that he and Ivanka Trump had witnessed a telephone call in the Oval Office on the morning of January 6 during which the former president pressured Pence to go along with a plan to throw out electoral votes for Joe Biden when Congress met to certify the Electoral College results. The call to Pence was part of an effort to invalidate the 2020 election and give Trump a chance to stay in office.

Kellogg told the committee that the president had accused Pence of not being “tough enough” to overturn the election. Ivanka Trump then said to Kellogg, “Mike Pence is a good man,” he testified.

The committee has interviewed more than 800 witnesses and plans to interview dozens more. Thompson told reporters on Monday that he had authorized five additional subpoenas that day.

Thompson said the committee had ruled out a subpoena for Pence, citing “significant information” it had received from two of his aides, Marc Short and Greg Jacob.

“There won’t be a subpoena,” Mr. Thompson said, adding, “We’ve been able to validate a lot of the statements attributed to [then-]President Trump and the vice president without his specific testimony.”

“There’s no effort on the part of the committee to get him to come in,” he said of Pence, adding: “We initially thought it would be important, but at this point we know that people broke in here and wanted to hang him. We know that his security detail had to protect him in an undisclosed location in the Capitol. We know the people who tried to get him to change his mind, about the count and all of that. So what is it we need?”

Mr. Thompson also indicated that the panel would be likely to the former president as a witness. “I don’t know anything else we could ask Donald Trump that the public doesn’t already know,” Thompson said. “He ran his mouth for four years.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Trump to Pence: Nice career, shame if something happened to it

January 6, 2021

At his rally on the eve of the Georgia runoff election, President Donald Trump took out his frustration on his now familiar comfort piñatas—Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, the U.S. Supreme Court, and RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) of all stripes—as he struggled to cope with his loss in the 2020 election, The Daily Beast reports.

But on the stage on Monday night in Dalton, Georgia, he added a new one: Vice President Mike Pence.

 “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us,” said Trump, in front of a cheering throng of supporters. “If he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”

The ostensible purpose of Trump’s trip to Georgia was to boost the chances of Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) as they fight to hold their Senate seats—and the GOP’s Senate majority—in Tuesday’s run-off election; and not to issue a veiled threat to the vice president to somehow block the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory on Wednesday in the Senate.

But it was just one moment out of many during a lengthy speech in which the outgoing president delivered his perfunctory lines supporting the GOP senators, but buried them within winding tirades in which he surfaced new lies and old conspiracies about the 2020 election. The focus, as ever, was on him and the election that just passed, not on the pair of GOP senators facing a hugely consequential election that looms on Tuesday, The Daily Beast noted.

The president used his perch in Dalton—possibly his last major political rally before leaving office—to solidify his list of enemies in front of his most dedicated supporters. After openly encouraging a primary challenge to Kemp, his former ally who has declined to overthrow Georgia’s election results, at a rally last month, Trump vowed on Monday to personally campaign against Kemp when he faces re-election next year.

“I’ll be here in about a year and a half campaigning against your governor,” said Trump. “I guarantee that.”

The nation’s high court was also booed and jeered at the rally, for not entertaining Team Trump’s failed legal effort to overturn the 2020 election. “I’m not happy with the Supreme Court,” complained Trump. “They’re not stepping up to the plate.”

The president also hinted at some future targets of his ire—some of whom were sitting in the crowd. On two occasions, Trump expressed his frustration that Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who has been campaigning for Loeffler and Perdue in Georgia and was in Dalton, did not sign on to a doomed effort from GOP senators to block Biden’s Electoral College victory. On Monday, Lee circulated a letter among senators opposing that effort.

“I’m a little angry at you today,” Trump to Lee from the stage.

Pence is said to be struggling between his loyalties to the U.S. Constitution and to the current U.S. president. Sources say that the vice president plans to leave town immediately after he leaves the hill on Wednesday.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Why Pence cannot ‘save’ Trump on January 6

January 31, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence has come under heavy pressure from President Donald Trump to back an unconstitutional scheme to overturn his Electoral College defeat (306-232) in a joint session of Congress on January 6. According to multiple reports, advisers have repeatedly had to explain to the president that the vice president’s role is merely ceremonial, Salon reports.

In addition to losing the general election by 7 million votes, Trump has lost every legal challenge after failing to show evidence of widespread fraud or irregularities and is now “laser-focused” on January 6, Igor Derysh of Salon notes.

Indeed, the outgoing president views the joint session of Congress as his “last stand for overturning the electoral outcome,” multiple administration officials told The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman. Trump has demanded that Pence “act” to stop the ratification of the Electoral College, according to CNN.

Trump has raged at Pence and top White House officials in recent days as they have pushed back on his doomed scheme and would view Pence carrying out his constitutional duty and validating the election result as “the ultimate betrayal,” according to Axios’ Jonathan Swan.

This pressure arguably puts Pence in a bind, since legally he cannot do anything to affect the result. The vice president reportedly plans to flee Washington for his first overseas trip since the coronavirus pandemic began right after the session.

“Pence’s constitutional role is to ‘open’ the certificates. That’s it,” said Harry Litman, a former Justice Department official and constitutional law expert at UCLA. “Not to certify. Not even technically to count. He has no way even to purport to change the count. It’d be like saying the Oscar presenters get to decide who wins best picture.”

Research contact: @Salon