The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot has received “firsthand testimony” that President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, twice asked him to intervene, Rep. Liz Cheney said. Trump was watching the riot unfold on television while sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office at the time. “We have firsthand testimony that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence,” Cheney, the vice chair of the committee and one of two Republican members on the panel, said on ABC’s This Week.
As far as Cheney is concerned, Trump could have taken clear steps to make sure the violence didn’t get out of hand that day but he chose not to act. “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 said. “The president could have at any moment, walked those very few steps into the briefing room, gone on live television, and told his supporters who were assaulting the Capitol to stop.” Instead, Cheney said, Trump did nothing. “He could have told them to stand down. He could have told them to go home—and he failed to do so,” Cheney added. “It’s hard to imagine a more significant and more serious dereliction of duty than that.”
His failure to act shows Trump should never be allowed near the Oval Office again. “Any man who would watch television as police officers were being beaten, as his supporters were invading the Capitol of the United States, is clearly unfit for future office,” Cheney said. The way in which Trump refused to tell his supporters to stop the riot shows “he cannot be trusted,” she added. Republicans now have a choice to make. “We can either be loyal to our Constitution or loyal to Donald Trump, but we cannot be both,” Cheney said.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said on CNN that the panel had received “significant testimony” that the White House “had been told to do something” and ignored the pleas. “The only thing I can say, it’s highly unusual for anyone in charge of anything to watch what’s going on and do nothing,” Thompson said.