Biden Rejects Trump’s More Executive Privilege Claims

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Executive privilege

Biden has again declined to invoke executive privilege over more documents sought by ex-President Donald Trump to keep out of the committee’s reach investigating the January 6 invasion on the US Capitol.

IN SUMMARY

  • Biden will not invoke executive privilege in respect to more materials Trump has sought to stay classified. Unless Trump obtains a court order, the National Archives will begin turning over records to the House on November 12.
  • Trump has reportedly filed a lawsuit to stop the National Archives from disclosing privileged documents to Congress.
  • The National Archives has received the House select committee’s request for documents from the Trump White House about the January 6 events that led to Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation.
  • On January 6, the committee requested all documents and communications within the White House, including call logs, schedules, and meeting minutes with senior officials and private advisers.

As per a letter, White House attorney Dana Remus instructed National Archivist David Ferriero on Monday that Biden would not assert executive privilege over more documents requested by Trump to stay private.

Trump’s best legal argument for withholding his January 6 docs is to invoke executive privilege.

The ex-President has indeed filed a lawsuit seeking to block the National Archives, the custodian of his administration’s White House records, from providing privileged documents to Congress. The additional documents are expected to be included in that lawsuit. Unless Trump secures a court order, the National Archives will begin turning over records to the House on November 12.

Executive privilege
Executive privilege

Remus indicated that President Biden had examined the former President’s assertion, and I have consulted with the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel.

President Biden has deemed that asserting executive privilege over the documents submitted to the White House on September 16, 2021, and September 23, 2021, is not in the best interests of the United States and, as such, is not justified. As a result, President Biden rejects the former President’s assertion of privilege.

Remus pointed to an earlier letter she wrote to the National Archives, emphasizing that day’s “extraordinary events.” Also, according to the top White House counsel, Biden asks the National Archives to transmit the documents to the committee 30 days after informing Trump, “absent any intervening judicial order.”

White House would waive executive privilege in response to the committee’s initial request for docs on January 6.

Earlier this month, the White House notified the National Archives that it would waive executive privilege on an initial batch of documents requested by the committee on January 6.

At the time, press secretary Jen Psaki stated during a White House news conference that the President had determined that an assertion of executive privilege was not justified for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that the National Archives had supplied to them.

Executive privilege
Executive privilege

Jen Psaki stated that would be a continuous process, and it is only the initial set of documents. She explained that while they will examine privilege claims individually, the President has made it bland that he believes it is critical for both Congress and the American people to have a thorough understanding of the events of that day to avert them from occurring again.

As part of its exhaustive inquiry, the House select committee has filed requests for information to a number of federal agencies. For January 6 events, the committee requested  “all documents and communications within the White House,” including call logs, schedules, and meetings with senior officials and private advisers, like Rudy Giuliani.

According to legal experts, Biden has the last word on whether these documents are subject to executive privilege. Given that members of Biden’s party lead the committee, Trump’s capacity to sway the outcome is in doubt.

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