According to a new report from The Washington Post, the Biden administration “is leaning toward releasing information to Congress about what Donald Trump and his aides were doing during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol despite the former president’s objections.” Specifically, Trump has already cited “executive privilege” in his crusades against the materials in question getting released. As that new Washington Post report also explains, the Biden White House “plans to err on the side of disclosure given the gravity of the events of Jan. 6.” Biden spokesman Michael J. Gwin said that the president is “deeply committed to ensuring that something like [the riot] can never happen again, and he supports a thorough investigation.”
The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is pushing for the release of Trump-related documents. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who is a member of the committee and a teacher of constitutional law, said that the concept of executive privilege is “not really relevant because there’s no president involved — there’s no such thing as a former president’s executive privilege.” Raskin added that the notion is “extremely dilute and not really relevant.”
Obtaining records of the Trump White House could provide investigators with a critical look at what the then-president was doing during the violence. For some time, he was — in public, at least — relatively quiet, before eventually offering what amounted to an attempted defense of what happened. At the time, he wrote on Twitter in reference to the rioting that “these are the things and events that happen” when a presidential election is stolen — although of course, no such theft of an election actually took place. There are practical questions, too, like whether Trump in any way may have hindered the responses of federal authorities to the assault on the Capitol. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who is another member of the riot investigation committee, has said that investigators “must… know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting — leading up to, during, and after the attack.”
Predictably, Trump has been lashing out against efforts to understand exactly what was going on in connection to the assault on the Capitol. In a statement, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich complained that the “highly partisan, Communist-style ‘select committee’ has put forth an outrageously broad records request that lacks both legal precedent and legislative merit,” adding that “Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of President Trump and his administration, but also on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our nation.” Isn’t it amazing how Trump and his inner circle seem so set on casting things in terms as self-aggrandizing as possible? No, Donald, you’re not some valiant defender of liberty — you’re a whiny imbecile.