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Biden again rejects Trump request to block Jan 6 committee from getting his presidential files: Report

Donald J. Trump at the White House on Nov. 13, 2020. (Tia Dufour/White House) | Joe Biden at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Feb. 2020. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
October 26, 2021

President Joe Biden once again rejected former President Donald Trump’s request for executive privilege over documents sought by the House committee investigating the January 6 storming of the United States Capitol.

According to a letter obtained by CNN, the White House on Monday notified National Archivist David Ferriero that Biden would not apply executive privilege over files that Trump asked to be kept secret.

“President Biden has considered the former President’s assertion, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice,” White House counsel Dana Remus wrote.

“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, as to the documents provided to the White House on September 16, 2021, and September 23, 2021,” Remus continued.
“Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former President’s assertion of privilege.”

Remus highlighted her previous letter to the National Archives in which she outlined the “extraordinary events” that took place on January 6. Biden instructed the National Archives to turn over the documents to the January 6 committee within 30 days of notifying Trump and “absent any intervening court order.”

Trump filed a lawsuit to prevent the National Archives from providing the files to the committee, claiming that the documents are privileged. Unless Trump gets a court order, the National Archives will begin delivering records to the committee on November 12.  

Earlier this month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that “the President has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives.”

“As we’ve said previously, this will be an ongoing process and this is just the first set of documents,” she said. “And we will evaluate questions of privilege on a case-by-case basis, but the President has also been clear that he believes it to be of the utmost importance for both Congress and the American people to have a complete understanding of the events of that day to prevent them from happening again.”

The House committee has requested information from several federal agencies as part of its investigation into the events on January 6. The committee also specifically requested “all documents and communications within the White House” on January 6, including call logs, schedules and meetings.