President Joe Biden has decided not to use administrative law to withhold a wealth of documents that the Jan. 6 select committee is looking for as part of its investigation — concluding that it is not in the ‘best interest’ of the country is in the Capitol after the riots.
The White House has authorized the National Archives, which holds the records and has received document requests from the panel, to transfer them while the House panel continues its investigation.
“The administration is taking the events of Jan. 6 incredibly seriously, as the president said on his six-month birthday,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
“That day was an existential crisis and a test of our democracy’s survival. It was in many ways a unique attack on the foundations of our democracy. The president is committed to ensuring that nothing like this can ever happen again, which is why the administration is cooperating with ongoing investigations, including the Jan. 6 Select Committee to bring to light what happened,” she said during her daily Press conference.
“That day was an existential crisis and a test of whether our democracy could survive,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki, confirming that the White House would not block Trump-era documents from a select House committee. investigating January 6.
Biden’s stance comes after the committee made sweeping requests for documents, photos, schedules and information about the Jan. 6 events. The panel also subpoenaed four former top Trump administration officials and other individuals.
Trump’s attorney has ordered witnesses to disobey and that he intends to assert privilege.
Psaki said Friday the review had taken place but kept her comments to an initial set of documents.
“As part of this process, the president has determined that an executive privilege claim is not warranted for the first batch of Trump White House documents provided to us by the National Archives,” she said.
President Biden could have claimed a privilege, allowing some documents to remain hidden in the archives for years
President Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has issued subpoenas and requests for information
The panel has attempted to serve former White House deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of its investigation. A Trump lawyer has told witnesses not to cooperate
“We will assess privilege issues on a case-by-case basis,” she said. “But the president has also been clear that he believes it is of the utmost importance to both Congress and the American people to have a full understanding of the day’s events to prevent them from happening again.”
White House attorney Dana Remus outlined the position in a letter to the National Archives.
“President Biden has determined that an appeal to administrative law is not in the best interests of the United States and therefore is not justified in relation to any of the documents,” she said.
“These are unique and extraordinary circumstances,” Remus continued, according to NBC Newswho received the letter.
“Congress is investigating an attack on our constitution and democratic institutions, instigated and fomented by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation goes well beyond the usual deliberations about the proper discharge of the president’s constitutional responsibilities,” it wrote. they. “Constitutional protections for executive privileges must not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent attempt to undermine the Constitution itself.”
The House Panel issued a statement on Friday regarding subpoenas to four witnesses, after demanding that they hand over information by midnight Tuesday.
They indicated that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former DOD official Kash Patel collaborated on some level.
‘While Mr. Meadows and Mr. Patel in discussions with the Select Committee so far, Mr. Bannon indicated that he will try to hide behind vague references to the former president’s privileges. The select committee fully expects all of these witnesses to meet our requirements for both documents and testimony,” the committee said.
“While the Select Committee welcomes in good faith engagement with witnesses willing to cooperate with our investigation, we will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run the clock, and we will promptly consider filing a to promote criminal contempt of reference by Congress. .
“We thank those many patriotic Americans who volunteered to participate in our survey. The commission is making rapid progress and will not be deterred by those who try to thwart our efforts,” the panel said.
Bannon’s attorney, Robert Costello, wrote to the commission, referring to Trump’s claim of privilege as a former president. “It is therefore clear to us that since the executive privileges belong to President Trump, and he has announced, through his counsel, his intention to assert those executive privileges … we must accept his leadership and his appeal to executive privilege. honor,” wrote Bannon’s attorney Robert Costello.