In the final throes of former President Donald Trump’s presidency, members of his family, cabinet and White House aides tried to persuade him to accept his defeat in the 2020 election. The comments provide added further evidence that Trump was privy to detailed information showing his claims of election fraud were unfounded.
On Tuesday, the Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot unveiled new video testimony from Trump’s advisors, who detailed their attempts to get Trump to abandon efforts to overturn the election results.
Among those who testified were his daughter Ivanka Trump, former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Eugene Scalia, Trump’s Labor Secretary and the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
In their testimony to the committee, the aides all made clear that they realized Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge his defeat were futile by Dec. 14, the day the Electoral College certified Biden as the winner.
McEnany said that it was on this day that she began “to plan for life after the administration.”
Ivanka Trump, Trump’s eldest daughter and a White House adviser, said that Dec. 14 was when she realized the term was over. “I think it was my sentiment — probably prior, as well,” she said.
Ivanka Trump’s testimony builds on earlier remarks to the committee’s investigators where she said that she believed the election was over when then-Attorney General Bill Barr said that the Justice Department found no evidence to support Trump’s allegations that the election was stolen. Donald Trump waved off his daughter’s statement as being “polite” to Barr and countered that she had “long since checked out” by late December.
But what Ivanka Trump told the committee contradicted comments she made to British filmmaker Alex Holder in interviews for his series “Unprecedented” on the Trump White House. In an interview with the Washington Post, Holder noted that Ivanka Trump echoed her father’s talking points about the election even after Barr had made the conclusions public.
Others said they attempted to directly intercede with Trump. McEnany’s deputy Judd Deere testified that he told Donald Trump that after Biden’s win was certified by the Electoral College, it meant that “the means for [Donald Trump] to pursue litigation was probably closed.” Deere said that Donald Trump disagreed with the assertion.
Scalia, whose father remains a beloved legal thinker in conservative circles, also said he urged Trump to concede.
“I told him that I did believe, yes, once those legal processes were run, if fraud had not been established, that had affected the outcome. of the election, and unfortunately, I believe that what had to be done was can see the outcome,” Scalia told committee investigators.