Biden administration won't shield Trump's White House logs from Jan. 6
Trump hosted right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists at the White House in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On Wednesday the Biden administration rejected an assertion from former President Donald Trump that visitor logs to the White House from Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the U.S. Capitol attack, were subject to executive privilege and should be withheld from the congressional committee investigating the attack.
In a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration, White House counsel Dana Remus noted that President Joe Biden “has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States.”
Remus further noted, “Constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack first requested the records in August. Trump then asserted that the information was privileged and sued the committee in October. In January, the Supreme Court ruled against Trump, asserting a finding from an appeals court that the need for accountability outweighed Trump’s claim.
Biden has repeatedly denied Trump’s attempts to invoke executive privilege over information, particularly data related to the investigation of the Capitol attack.
“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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in October.
Records that Trump previously attempted to shield from scrutiny have already revealed details of his actions on Jan. 6. Phone records disclosed to the committee showed that Trump spoke on the phone with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) hours before he and 138 other House Republicans voted against certifying Biden’s win.
The requested visitor logs are from a period during which other meetings at the White House took place between Trump and other figures promoting fringe ideas.
In the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack, Trump met with conservative lawyer John Eastman, who argued that then-Vice President Mike Pence could prevent certification of Biden’s win. Trump also met with ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has promoted the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory.
Days after the attack, Trump also met with MyPillow founder and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, who was photographed entering the White House with documents referring to the use of martial law.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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