A former special counsel compared the Ivanka letter to what DOJ lawyers have said in court — here’s what he found
President Donald Trump, joined by First Daughter Ivanka Trump. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol sent a letter to Ivanka Trump asking for some of the information to confirm some of the facts that other witnesses have told them.

Among the details in the letter from committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), include questions about Former President Donald Trump's efforts to persuade Pence that he could throw the 2020 election back to the state legislatures to decide.

Former special counsel Ryan Goodman cited a phone call between Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence when Trump was pressuring Pence to refuse to certify the election during the Jan. 6 Electoral College count. "General Keith Kellogg was also in the Oval Office during that call, and has testified about that discussion," the letter says.

Goodman called this "criminal obstruction of [the] Jan. 6 proceedings for which many have been indicted."

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The committee said that it wants to hear her side of the conversation she heard on the phone call and any other conversations. Thompson also gave an example of "Committee has information suggesting that President Trump's White House Counsel may have concluded that the actions President Trump directed Vice President Pence to take would violate the Constitution or would be otherwise illegal."

Until now, the conversation about Trump pressuring Pence has not been part of the conversation of illegal behavior, but Goodman recalled that the Justice Department is clearly looking at it as a possibility.

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols posed the question in November last year of whether it would be a felony to "corruptly" interfere with an official government proceeding.

Former Watergate lawyer Nick Ackerman referred to the Trump administration documents that the Supreme Court said must be handed over to the Committee, saying that they too could prove the same felony.

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"This really is going to answer the question, can they make a criminal case on Donald Trump for obstructing Congress, which is an extremely serious federal felony carrying imprisonment of 20 years," Ackerman explained.

According to Politico, such a crime typically happens in relation to a court case like threatening judges or jurors. Prosecutors have, however, used it in about one-third of the 730 people charged for the insurrection.

It also wasn't the first time Nichols mentioned it. During a hearing for alleged Capitol attacker Garret Miller, Nichols asked whether the obstruction of a government proceeding statute could have been violated by a person who simply "called Vice President Pence to seek to have him adjudge the certification in a particular way."

He never said Trump's name.

Justice Department prosecutor James Pearce dismissed it, but then thought again, saying that it likely would apply if the person knew Pence had an obligation under the Constitution to merely count the votes and recognize the result.

“If that person does that knowing it is not an available argument [and is] asking the vice president to do something the individual knows is wrongful … one of the definitions of ‘corruptly’ is trying to get someone to violate a legal duty,” Pearce said.

Goodman noted that Mark Meadows could be on the hook for this as well. According to text messages between Ivanka Trump and Meadows, implying that Meadows was involved in the pressure campaign against Pence.

The Committee letter said "Also, on the evening of January 5th, you texted Mr. Meadows: 'Pence pressure. WH counsel will leave.' What communications or information led you conclude that the White House Counsel would leave? What precisely did you know at the time?"

See the letter excerpt from Goodman below:

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