Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of former President Donald Trump could soon be gifted “a wealth of information” due to the subpoenas of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, according to a former federal prosecutor.
Trump, the ex-president’s daughter, and Kushner, his son-in-law, have retreated from public life since serving as key advisers during the Trump administration. The couple could be set to reenter the spotlight soon, with Smith having issued them both subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury, according to a Wednesday report from The New York Times, which cites two people briefed on the matter.
Smith, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November, is leading twin investigations into the former president’s role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and his post-presidency possession of classified documents. The investigations may ultimately result in criminal charges being filed against Donald Trump.
Andrew Weissmann, former federal prosecutor and ex-Department of Justice (DOJ) official, said during an MSNBC appearance on Wednesday that Smith’s decision to subpoena Ivanka Trump and Kushner could yield valuable information about the former president’s attempts to stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden, beyond just his actions surrounding January 6.
“[Ivanka Trump] is somebody who was there on January 6, with the former president,” Weissmann said. “Learning about all of his reactions, what he was seeking to do, what his demeanor was, whether he wanted to go to the Capitol … Yes, she is the president’s daughter, but she was [also] given this position at the White House and was an incredibly trusted aide, as was Jared.”
“And it’s in that capacity that they’re being called into the grand jury,” he continued. “It’s not just about what happened on January 6. There’s a wealth of information they could have about the fake-elector scheme, about the pressure on the DOJ, obviously the pressure on [former Vice President] Mike Pence. I mean, there’s all sorts of aspects of the investigation.”
Weissmann went on to say that the former president’s daughter and son-in-law could also aid in Smith’s investigation into the classified documents that were recovered from Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago last year, since they may have been told “how to retain or not retain documents” while working at the White House.
In addition, he said that Smith’s decision to order the couple to testify under oath before the grand jury, rather than just “interview” them, was “incredibly tenacious.”
“This isn’t just asking for them to come in for an interview,” Weissmann said. “This is asking for them to come in and [testify to] a grand jury. And that is, to me, a fact that shows that Jack Smith is really being tenacious … Usually, there are all sorts of accommodations that are made for people like this to be interviewed, to have their counsel present.”
“This is saying, no … They’re being treated just like everyone else,” he added. “[Smith is] making sure he can get their testimony under oath in the grand jury, which is what you really need to do to set up a case going forward, if you are going to bring charges.”
The subpoenas of Ivanka Trump and Kushner come only two weeks after Smith issued a subpoena to Pence, who has vowed a court battle to avoid facing the grand jury. It is unclear whether Ivanka Trump and Kushner will also take legal steps to avoid having to testify.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner provided testimony to the House January 6 committee last year. The former president has previously attempted to block some of his close associates from testifying by claiming executive privilege.
Newsweek has reached out to Donald Trump’s office and the DOJ for comment.