WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The House committee investigating the January 6 uprising at the Capitol has agreed to suspend its effort to obtain hundreds of pages of records from the Trump administration, at the request of the Biden White House.
The deferred Biden is in response to White House concerns that releasing all Trump administration documents demanded by the committee could compromise national security and executive privilege.
President Joe Biden has repeatedly dismissed former President Donald Trump’s blanket efforts, citing executive privilege, to block the release of documents surrounding that day. But Biden’s White House is still working with the committee to keep some documents from being overturned.
Trump is appealing to the Supreme Court to try to block the National Archives and Records Administration from giving it to the committee, which has custody of documents from his time in office.
The agreement to keep some Trump-era records away from the committee is recalled in a December 16 letter from the White House counsel’s office. It shields most records that do not cover the events of January 6, but were covered by the committee’s extensive request for documents from the Trump White House about the events of that day.
Dozens of pages created on January 6 are unrelated to the attack on the capital. Other documents include sensitive preparation and deliberations by the National Security Council. Biden officials were concerned that if those pages were handed over to Congress, it would set a troublesome precedent for the executive branch, no matter who the president is.
Still other documents are highly classified and the White House asked Congress to work with the federal agencies that produced them to discuss their release.
“The documents for which the Select Committee has agreed to withdraw or postpone its request are related to the White House’s preparedness or response to the events of January 6, or efforts to reverse the election or otherwise hinder a peaceful transfer.” power,” White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote in one of two letters to the committee obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press.
Su wrote that for the committee, withholding the documents “should not compromise its ability to expedite its important investigations.”
Committee spokesman Tim Mulvey said: “The committee has agreed to defer action on certain records as part of the accommodation process, as was the case with the first tranche of records. The request has not been withdrawn and will continue to engage with the Executive Branch to ensure that the Committee receives all information related to our investigation.
For the past several months, the National Archives has been transmitting installments of documents to the White House and Trump’s lawyers to determine whether they contain any privileged information. Trump has raised widespread objections to the release of the documents, as well as specific concerns about the particular documents.
The National Archives said the records Trump wants to block include a presidential diary, visitor logs, speech drafts, handwritten notes “relating to the January 6 events” and “a draft executive from files by former chief of staff Mark Meadows”. The orders are a matter of electoral integrity.”
Biden has repeatedly denied Trump’s claims of executive privilege over those documents, including a letter sent on December 23 about the nearly 20 pages of the documents.
“The President has determined that the claim of executive privilege is not in the best interest of the United States, and is therefore not justified,” White House counsel Dana Remus reiterated in the latest letter.
Trump has moved the courts to block the release of the document. A federal appeals court ruled against Trump this month, and he filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, though the high court has yet to decide whether to take up the matter.
Writing for the court in a December 9 opinion, Judge Patricia Millett said Congress had a “specifically significant interest” in studying the events of January 6 and that Biden had “carefully reasoned” the determination that the document was in the public interest. Were. And so that executive privilege should not be invoked. Millett wrote that Trump also failed to show any damage caused by the release of the sought-after record.
“On the record before us, former President Trump has not provided any grounds for this court to override President Biden’s decision and has worked out agreements and accommodations between the political branches on these documents,” the opinion said. .
Associated Press writer Marie Claire Jalonik contributed.