videotaped depositions by Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots, showed former Trump advisers, including her daughter Ivanka Trump, her son-in-law Jared Kushner and the White House counsel Pat Cipollone, discussing plans for his address to the nation the following day.
Kushner told the committee that they had drafted comments for Trump to deliver 24 hours after the insurrection.
“We felt it was important to make a stronger call for de-escalation,” Kushner said in his testimony. Both Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump were top White House advisers.
“I had to make it very clear that the people who committed the violent acts, entered the Capitol, did what they did, should be prosecuted and arrested,” Cipollone said. “And that needed to be strongly affirmed.”
A draft of the speech, titled “Remarks on National Healing,” obtained by the committee, includes various edits made by Trump.
Among the crossed out lines was a reference to how he was “disgusted” by the violence and a call by Trump for the Justice Department to prosecute the rioters.
“I am directing the Department of Justice to ensure that all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Trump’s blacked out comments read. “We must send a clear message, not with mercy but with JUSTICE. The legal consequences must be swift and firm.”
“I want to be very clear: you do not represent me,” read another crossed-out section. “You do not represent our movement.”
The then president also edited a line that said, “if you broke the law, you should be in jail” to read, “if you broke the law, you will pay.”
Kushner said he did not know why Trump had crossed out those lines in his prepared remarks.
During the House select committee presented outtakes of a three-minute video Trump recorded and released on Jan. 7, 2021. They showed the then-president struggling to convict rioters, stopping and starting multiple times and complaining that he couldn’t see Some. of the prepared text.
The outtakes also revealed other things Trump didn’t want to say.
“This election is over. Congress has certified the results,” Trump said before pausing. “I don’t want to say that the election is over. I mean that Congress certified the results without saying that the elections are over, okay?