Trump sues to hide documents from committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault

Former President Donald Trump is trying to prevent documents including call records, draft notes, speeches and handwritten notes from his chief of staff relating to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol from being released to the committee investigating the riots, the National Archives revealed in a press release. Court filing early Saturday.

Trump sued to prevent the National Archives from referring these documents, and thousands more, to the House committee investigating the attack. President Joe Biden refused to confirm executive privilege in most of Trump’s records after deciding that doing so was “not in the interests of the United States.”

Saturday’s dossier, which came as part of the National Archives and Records Administration’s opposition to Trump’s lawsuit, details the agency’s efforts to locate records from the Trump White House in response to a broad 13-page request from the House Committee on documents related to the uprising and Trump’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of 2020 presidential election

The document provides a first look at the type of records that could soon be turned over to the commission for investigation.

Billy Luster, director of the White House Communications Division at the National Archives, wrote that among the specific documents Trump sought to block are 30 pages of “daily presidential diaries, schedules, and appointment information showing White House visitors, activity logs, contact records and lists.” revision to change the shift switchboard displaying calls to the President and Vice President, all intended or including January 6, 2021; 13 pages of ‘Draft letters, notes and correspondence relating to the events of January 6, 2021; and “Three handwritten notes relating to the events of January 6 from the files of Meadows (former White House chief of staff Mark).”

Trump also attempted to exercise executive privilege over pages from former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s folders and statements “principally related to allegations of voter fraud, election security, and other topics relating to the 2020 election.”

Other documents included a handwritten note from Meadows’ files “listing potential or scheduled briefings and phone calls relating to the January 6 testimony and other election issues” and a “draft executive order on the topic of election integrity.”

Luster’s announcement notes that the National Archives’ search began with paper documents because it took until August for digital records to be transferred from the Trump White House to the agency. He wrote that the National Archives identified “several hundreds of thousands of potentially responding records” of emails from Trump’s White House among the nearly 100 million sent or received during his administration, and was working to determine whether they related to the House request.

Biden has so far waived executive privilege on nearly all documents requested by the committee, although the committee has agreed to “defer” its requests for dozens of pages of records at the request of the Biden White House.

Explaining why Biden did not protect Trump’s records, White House counsel Dana Remus wrote that they could “shed light on events in and around the White House on and around January 6 and influence the briefing committee’s need to understand the facts behind the most serious attack on federal government operations since the Civil War.”

On January 6, an armed group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Biden’s election victory. The Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Trump for inciting riots, but the Republican-led Senate acquitted him.

Trump described the document as requesting a “malicious and illegal fishing expedition” that was “unrelated to any legitimate legislative purpose” in his lawsuit to prevent the National Archives from handing over the documents to the committee.

The lawsuit also challenges the legitimacy of the Presidential Records Act, arguing that allowing an incumbent president to waive his predecessor’s executive privilege just months after leaving office is inherently unconstitutional. Biden said he would consider each request individually to determine whether the privilege should be waived.


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