The Biden administration has ordered the release of Trump White House documents to the Democrat-run House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, claiming the decision is warranted due to the uncommon nature of the probe and its genesis.
On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the administration had directed presidential record keepers to provide the information to the committee, adding that President Joe Biden has pledged to support the investigation.
“As a part of this process, the president has determined an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives,” she told reporters.
“This is just the first set of documents, and we will evaluate claims of privilege on a case by case basis, but the president has also been clear he believes it to be of the utmost importance for both Congress and the American people to have a complete understanding of the events of that day to prevent them from happening again,” she said.
A letter to the National Archives from White House Counsel Dana Remus ordered the agency to release documents related to then-President Donald Trump’s activities on the day of the riot, in which he gave a speech to a massive crowd in Washington D.C., before the breach of the Capitol Building began. Attorneys for the former president had requested that the Biden administration not release the information under the guise of executive privilege.
“President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified as to any of the documents,” Remus wrote in a letter to the archives that was obtained by NBC News.
“These are unique and extraordinary circumstances,” Remus continued. “Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President’s constitutional responsibilities.
“The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself,” she claimed.
Two weeks ago, Psaki forecast the decision, saying that Biden had decided already that a claim of executive privilege would not be considered appropriate.
Materials that are to be released and were requested by the committee include Trump’s activities and communications on the day of the riot, including before and after his speech on The Ellipse at the White House.
“That request sought everything from Twitter messages, phone and visitor logs, and any videos and photos of events he participated in,” NBC News reported, adding that records for then-Vice President Mike Pence’s movements and communications would also be turned over to the committee.
In a statement, Trump blasted the White House’s decision while accusing Democrats of attempting “to use Congress to persecute their political opponents.”
“Biden has rejected our request to withhold White House information from the House Unselect Committee investigating the January 6th protest, but has not taken a stance on the insurrection that took place on November 3rd, often referred to as the Crime of the Century,” he said.
“This will put the current White House in a terrible position when the inevitable request for information comes concerning the massive corruption by Hunter Biden and the already well-documented crimes committed by the Biden family, the least of which are Hunter’s paintings selling for as much as $500,000 a piece,” he continued.
“With our Country collapsing, with our Military disgraced, with our Borders nonexistent, when will the American people have had enough?”
"This will put the current White House in a terrible position when the inevitable request for information comes concerning the massive corruption by Hunter Biden and the already well-documented crimes committed by the Biden family, the least of which are Hunter’s paintings…
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 9, 2021
“selling for as much as $500,000 a piece. With our Country collapsing, with our Military disgraced, with our Borders nonexistent, when will the American people have had enough?” – President Donald J. Trump
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 9, 2021
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