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Biden and Jan 6 committee agree to SHIELD some of Trump’s White House documents from Capitol riot


Biden and the January 6 committee agree to SHIELD some of Trump’s White House documents from day of the Capitol riot over concerns they could compromise national security and executive privilege

  • The Biden White House had expressed concerns that releasing the documents could compromise national security or executive privilege
  • Trump’s lawyers have taken legal action to prevent the committee from obtaining access to any White House documents related to that day
  • White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su said that the documents the committee agreed to defer its request for did not relate to the riot


The Jan. 6 committee has agreed to heed President Biden’s request that they pause attempts to obtain hundreds of pages of White House records related to the Capitol riot.

The Biden White House had expressed concerns that releasing the Trump administration documents could compromise national security or executive privilege. 

Trump’s lawyers have taken legal action to prevent the committee from obtaining access to any White House documents related to that day, and the former president has instructed his allies not to cooperate with the committee. 

The Biden White House has rejected Trump’s blanket claims of executive privilege, but will continue to work with the committee to shield some documents from being turned over. 

Trump’s lawyers have taken legal action to prevent the committee from obtaining access to any White House documents related to that day, and the former president has instructed his allies not to cooperate with the committee

The Biden White House has rejected Trump's blanket claims of executive privilege, but will continue to work with the committee to shield some documents from being turned over

The Biden White House has rejected Trump’s blanket claims of executive privilege, but will continue to work with the committee to shield some documents from being turned over

White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote in one of two letters obtained by the Associated Press that the documents the committee agreed to defer its request for did not relate to the riot. 

‘The documents for which the Select Committee has agreed to withdraw or defer its request do not appear to bear on the White House’s preparations for or response to the events of January 6, or on efforts to overturn the election or otherwise obstruct the peaceful transfer of power,’ he said. 

Su wrote that withholding the records ‘​should not compromise its ability to complete its critical investigation expeditiously.’​ 

Trump is currently appealing a ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that ordered the National Archives to hand over the materials to the committee. He’s asked the Supreme Court to overturn the decision. 

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel – two judges appointed by Barack Obama and one by Biden – unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling denying Trump a preliminary injunction to stop the release of records.

The January 6th Committee has sought records, logs, photographs, and calendars as it probes Trump's election overturn effort and the Capitol riot on the day Congress met to count the electoral votes that made Biden president

The January 6th Committee has sought records, logs, photographs, and calendars as it probes Trump’s election overturn effort and the Capitol riot on the day Congress met to count the electoral votes that made Biden president

Trump’s lawyers filed an emergency appeal to meet a deadline imposed by the lower court. 

The January 6th Committee has sought records, logs, photographs, and calendars as it probes Trump’s election overturn effort and the Capitol riot on the day Congress met to count the electoral votes that made Biden president. 

And for months, the National Archives has been transmitting troves of documents to the White House and to attorneys for Trump to see if they contain any privileged information.  

Trump’s lawyers argue that ‘both the Constitution and the Presidential Records Act give former Presidents a clear right to protect their confidential records from premature dissemination. This case presents a clear threat to that right.’

The White House counsel’s office wrote in a Dec. 16 letter obtained by AP that some records requested by the Jan. 6 committee but not pertinent to the riot should be shielded. 

Some documents the White House has asked to shield include sensitive preparations and deliberations by the National Security Council.  The White House worries that turning over such pages to Congress could set a dangerous precedent for the executive branch, regardless of who is in office. 

The deferral of the documents request comes as numerous Trump allies have begun to put up a fight with the committee’s probe. Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich filed a lawsuit on Friday after the January 6 House Committee requested his financial documents.

Trump’s former National Security adviser Michael Flynn sued the committee last week to stop their subpoena of his phone records. 

The House held two other Trump officials – former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former adviser Steve Bannon – in contempt after their no-shows before the panel. 

Meadows, in turn, launched a suit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the committee over their contempt charges.

Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone briefly appeared before the committee before pleading the Fifth Amendment and Trump attorney John Eastman and former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark have both refused to comply.  

 

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