Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Probably Won’t Be Splitting a Milkshake With Two Straws Any Time Soon

In the nine months since the House of Representatives formed a select committee to investigate the events surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, numerous members of Donald Trump’s inner circle have refused to cooperate, preferring instead to risk contempt of Congress charges than reveal what is, more than likely, extremely damaging information about the former president. Surprisingly not among them? Jared Kushner, who was apparently more than happy to bring investigators up to speed on what he knows.

NBC News reports that Kushner—husband of Ivanka, son-in-law of Donald, and former senior White House adviser—met virtually with the panel on Thursday for more than six hours, after voluntarily agreeing to speak with the committee. While Trump family members have been known in the past to meet with officials investigating the ex-president only to plead the Fifth hundreds of times, Kushner reportedly saw no reason to stonewall the group. Though the details of what he revealed are not known at this time, Virginia Democratic representative Elaine Luria told MSNBC the former first son-in-law provided the panel with “really valuable” information. Speaking to NPR, Luria said, “I think that the committee really appreciates hearing information directly from people who have relevant facts about January 6, and the fact that Jared Kushner came as a witness is helpful to building the story of our investigation.”

Kushner was en route back to Washington from Saudi Arabia while the Capitol was being attacked, but the panel is obviously also interested in the events leading up to the insurrection (for example, Trump’s monthslong campaign to convince people a second term had been stolen from him, and attempts to get Mike Pence to block the certification of Joe Biden‘s win.) According to NBC News, “the panel had been expected to inquire about Trump’s false claims that he won the election and other information related to the deadly attack on the Capitol,” as well as “any dealings [Kushner] had with Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in the lead-up to Jan. 6.” (Last week, The Washington Post revealed that the committee was in possession of more than two dozen text messages between Thomas and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows re: overturning the election. One of them, from November 13, 2020, seemingly referred to Kushner, with Thomas writing: “Just forwarded to yr gmail an email I sent Jared this am. Sidney Powell & improved coordination now will help the cavalry come and Fraud exposed and America saved.” Powell, of course, is the unhinged Trump attorney who promoted claims like “there is a secret server that all the votes go to where they [are] manipulate[d].”)

In June, CNN reported that an alleged chilliness had developed between Jared and Ivanka and the 45th president, supposedly, in part, over the couple’s annoyance that Trump wouldn’t stop harping about the 2020 election. Having said that, they apparently had no issue following him to Florida and spending the summer at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where their accommodations are “separated by mere tens of feet.” It should also never, ever be forgotten that the duo’s go-to move while working in the administration was to literally flee the scene any time there was blowback for something extra bad Trump did, in apparent hopes people would forget they were senior advisers to the president. And, to date, they have never publicly declared that Biden won the election fair and square. So no one should be hailing Kushner as some kind of hero or defender of democracy.

Nevertheless, Kushner’s apparent helpfulness to the committee—which could change should he be asked to turn over documents—is in stark contrast to numerous other insiders. In November, former senior White House adviser Stephen Bannon was criminally charged for ignoring a subpoena from the panel. In January, the House voted to hold Meadows in criminal contempt, after he initially said he would cooperate—and turned over thousands of pages of documents—before abruptly changing his mind. And just this week, the panel unanimously voted to hold former Trump advisers Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro in contempt of Congress. According to the committee, it is in talks with Ivanka Trump for her to answer questions, but a final agreement has not been reached. “The expectation is that it will take place, as to when I can’t tell you right now, I know we are engaging her as a committee,” chairman Bennie Thompson said Wednesday. In a letter sent to the former first daughter in January, the committee noted that she was in the Oval Office during a phone call between her father and Mike Pence on the morning of January 6. That’s the phone call the president reportedly told his V.P. he didn’t have “the courage” to block the certification of Biden’s win. Rep. Liz Cheney has also said the committee had “firsthand testimony” that Ivanka asked her father “at least twice” to stop the riot. (For her part Ivanka tweeted that day “the violence must stop,” which would have meant more if she hadn’t initially addressed the people attacking the Capitol as “American patriots.”)

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