Thu. May 19th, 2022

Trump sought to assert ‘executive privilege’ to block the release of White House documents in deadly riots in the Capitol.

President Joe Biden has rejected a request from his predecessor Donald Trump to prevent the White House records of the deadly uprising in the U.S. Capitol from being handed over to congressional investigators.

The former president, who plans to hold a political rally in Iowa on Saturday, is battling a formal inquiry by the US House of Representatives into the events of January 6, including his own actions and the activities of his aides and political advisers.

That day, Trump delivered a fiery speech in Washington, DC to thousands of his supporters, urging them to march toward the Capitol, where U.S. lawmakers met to confirm Biden’s election victory. He was later charged with “inciting rebellion” after a mob stormed the building.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration would not allow Trump to claim “executive privilege” to block the request from the House committee investigating riots to Trump’s White House documents.

“The president is dedicated to ensuring that such a thing never happens again, and therefore the administration is cooperating with ongoing investigations, including the select committee on January 6, to shed light on what happened,” Psaki told reporters during an afternoon briefing .

“As part of this process, the President has determined that an allegation 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.”

Lawyers for Trump had tried to prevent Congress from obtaining these records by claiming “executive privilege,” a controversial legal argument that presidents have previously tried to use to shield confidential, internal discussions.

NBC News first reported that Biden had refused to assert executive privilege on Trump’s behalf, with White House Councilor Dana Remus in a letter to the National Archives saying “an allegation of executive privilege is not in America’s best interest.”

“Congress is examining an attack on our constitution and democratic institutions that is provoked and waved by those who swear to protect them, and the behavior being investigated goes far beyond typical considerations of fulfilling the president’s constitutional duties,” it said. there in the letter.

The House committee investigating the uprising, which consists of seven Democrats and two Republicans, has also convened a number of former Trump aides as well as organizers of his January 6 rally.

President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has refused to comply with the congressional inquiry [File: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP Photo]

It has required interviews and documents from former White House chief of staff Trump, Mark Meadows and communications chairman Dan Scavino.

The committee has also sued Trump’s former top political adviser Steve Bannon and Kash Patel, who were appointed by Trump to be chief of staff to the acting Secretary of Defense after the November 2020 election.

A lawyer for Bannon informed the committee in a letter dated Oct. 7 that he would not comply with the investigation unless a court was asked to do so because Trump claims executive privilege, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement on October 6, Trump had called the committee a “partisan,” dismissed its two Republican members as “pathetic,” and reiterated his baseless allegations that the “real uprising” took place on November 3 – the day of the US presidential election.

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the vote was marred by widespread fraud and “stolen” from him.

Committee leaders on Friday issued a statement saying Meadows and Patel were cooperating with the committee’s requests for the time being, signaling that they would take swift action through the Justice Department to force Bannon’s cooperation.

“We will not allow any witness to defy a lawful summons or attempt to run out of time, and we will promptly consider promoting a criminal contempt for congressional referral,” they said.


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