Former White House aide Jared Kushner, son-in-law of former U.S. President Donald Trump, answered questions Thursday from the House panel investigating last year’s assault on the Capitol.
Kushner, Trump’s top adviser and the first family member to testify so far, voluntarily appeared privately via video link and was not subpoenaed.
The House of Representatives Committee is in the process of putting together a detailed account of the events of the January 6 uprising itself, but also the efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the disinformation campaign falsely claiming widespread fraud that led to violence.
Kushner was returning from Saudi Arabia on January 6 and did not spend the night at the White House upon his return to the United States.
Committee member Elaine Luria told MSNBC after Kushner’s appearance that he was “in a position to voluntarily provide us with information, verify and support his own opinion” on the election.
“It was really precious to have the opportunity to talk to him,” she said.
Texts of the woman of justice
Kushner’s testimony caps an intense period of almost daily revelations from the investigation.
It was revealed last week that conservative political activist Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent more than two dozen texts pushing wild conspiracy theories and urging the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to help overturn the 2020 election.
Kushner’s name appeared in a message from Thomas dated Nov. 13, 2020, when she told Meadows, “I just forwarded to your gmail an email I sent Jared this morning…a better co-ordination will now help the cavalry to come and the fraud will be exposed and America saved.”
It also emerged that White House logs given to investigators since the day of the uprising show a gap of nearly eight hours in Trump’s call records, including the period covering the violence.
The committee is investigating whether it has the full record and whether Trump communicated that day through aides’ phones or personal disposable “burner” phones.
The select committee also sought testimony from Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, who was at the White House on Jan. 6 and pleaded with her father to speak out against the violence, according to reports.
No executive privileges
The White House said Tuesday it would reject any assertion of executive privilege, which allows presidents to keep certain work-related conversations private with aides — to Kushner or Ivanka Trump.
The committee is nearing the end of its investigation phase and is planning public hearings this spring.
The parallel but separate Justice Department investigation “expanded to examine preparations for the rally that preceded the riot”, including those who “helped plan, finance and execute” the event, The Washington Post reported.