By Donald Judd and Paul LeBlanc, CNN
The White House will not assert executive privilege over Jared Kushner’s testimony to the committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said Tuesday.
“Obviously, the President has spoken to the fact that January 6 was one of the darkest days in our country’s history and that we must have a full accounting of what happened to ensure that it never occurs again, and he’s been quite clear that they posed a unique threat to our democracy and that the constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield from Congress or the public information about an attack on the Constitution itself,” Bedingfield told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
“And so, as a result the White House has decided not to assert executive privilege over the testimony of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.”
Bedingfield declined to offer details on if the White House had conveyed as much to Kushner’s legal team, adding, “I won’t speak to private communication between our attorneys and his.”
Kushner, the son-in-law and former senior adviser to then-President Donald Trump, is expected to voluntarily appear before the panel in a virtual meeting Thursday.
This position from President Joe Biden’s White House isn’t new with regards to Trump-era witnesses and documents. The White House has refused to assert a need for secrecy in response to most House requests related to January 6.
CNN reported last month that Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who is married to Kushner and also served as senior White House adviser, was in discussions with the House select committee to voluntarily appear for an interview, her spokesperson and two sources familiar with the probe confirmed to CNN at the time.
The committee is specifically interested in speaking with Ivanka about what she witnessed or did in the hour or so between when the march to the Capitol started and when the then-President tweeted that then-Vice President Mike Pence denied his request and certified the 2020 election results, which rioters have attested in court had a direct correlation to when violence at the Capitol increased.
Kushner’s meeting is coming at a significant moment for the committee when its investigation is making progress on multiple fronts. The panel is also seeking an interview with Ginni Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, following revelations that she texted with former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in an effort to overturn the election.
Additionally, a federal judge said Monday that Donald Trump and right-wing attorney John Eastman may have been planning a crime as they sought to disrupt the January 6 congressional certification of the presidential election. The judge in California ordered Eastman to turn over 101 emails from around January 6, 2021, that he has tried to keep secret from the House select committee investigating the US Capitol attack.
Ultimately, the select committee is planning to produce a multi-media presentation and hire a writer as part of its effort to turn its largely secretive work into a compelling narrative, multiple sources tell CNN. The online multi-media presentation, which would include links to key video evidence, would be in addition to a traditional written report, a source familiar with the committee’s work previously told CNN.
Presenting its information in a comprehensive and engaging way will be crucial to creating a convincing argument for potential legislative changes as well as possible criminal referrals.
This story has been updated with additional information Tuesday.
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CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.