As the clock ran out at midnight on October 8, 2021, for the Trump aides – former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former chief of staff to the defense secretary Kash Patel, and former White House deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino – to turn in documents related to their communications leading up to and on Jan. 6, President Biden gave them no more room to negotiate.
BREAKING: “The White House has informed the National Archives they are not asserting executive privilege on behalf of former President Donald Trump.” https://t.co/2elwFwstur
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 8, 2021
The National Archives was ordered to release the documents to the committee, blocking Trump’s repeated attempts to hide evidence by claiming “executive privilege.” Although executive privilege is a useful and necessary privilege afforded to the president – after all, no world leader wants to speak to another in confidence if they know that their words can just be made public later – Biden has said previously that the insurrection created an unprecedented case in which executive privilege should not apply.
According to CNN:
‘The White House has informed the National Archives that it is not asserting executive privilege on behalf of former President Donald Trump, paving the way for the Archives to share documents with the House committee investigating the January 6 violence at the US Capitol, according to a source familiar with the matter.
‘The National Archives has already identified documents in response to the committee request and shared them with the Trump legal team and the White House, according to another source familiar with the matter. NBC was first to report on the White House’s decision.’
I WANT to be wrong on this. The bad guys ALREADY believe that the committee lacks resolve, as evidenced by their response to the current tranche of subpeonas. I hope you tell them clearly. https://t.co/GUCjpuxXgk
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) October 8, 2021
White House counsel Dana Remus wrote in a letter to David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, that Trump’s claims of executive privilege would be handled as they come, but in the case of these documents, the decision has already been made. All documents are to be released to the committee upon their request.
‘After my consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, 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…We understand that the former President believes that executive privilege should be asserted with respect to a subset of the Documents. When you notify us of such an assertion, we will respond accordingly.’
Thompson and Cheney – heads of Jan. 6 panel – say Meadows and Kash Patel are “so far engaging.” Bannon isn’t. “We will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral” pic.twitter.com/KQfzeKGFZt
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 8, 2021
It is unknown at this time what the documents might actually reveal, but it has already been reported that the documents will all relate to communications between the president and others suspected of serving as organizers of the event that led to a violent insurrection at the Capitol Building in order to stop the certification of Joe Biden as the 46the president of the United States.
‘The committee asked for “all documents and communications within the White House” on that day, including call logs, schedules and meetings with top officials and outside advisers, including Rudy Giuliani.
‘The White House indicated last month that President Joe Biden did not expect to assert executive privilege to shield those records from being seen by the committee.’
JUST IN: White House formally blocks attempt by former President Trump to withhold documents from Congress related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, setting up a legal showdown between the current and former president over executive privilege. https://t.co/cIDEfXgQ2q
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 8, 2021