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Capitol insurrection: White House blocks Donald Trump attempt to withhold documents related to Jan 6
The White House under US President Joe Biden has previously considered releasing records from twice-impeached former President Donald Trump’s term regarding the Capitol insurrection. Over the weekend, following an attempt by Trump to withhold the records, the Biden White House has moved forward with the release.
Last week, the Biden White House formally blocked Trump’s attempt to withhold his White House records from being turned over to the House Committee as part of its probe. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden had authorized the National Archives to turn over documents from the Trump White House related to the Capitol insurrection upon the committee’s request.
Trump has maintained executive privilege as an excuse to withhold his White House’s documents, blasting the Biden administration for trying to undermine his future political ambitions. However, the Biden administration has ruled out the former president’s use of executive privilege.
“The president has determined an assertion of executive privilege isn’t warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives,” said Psaki.
The bipartisan panel has already served subpoenas to several high-profile individuals in Trump’s inner circle. This includes Dan Scavino, Kash Patel, Mark Meadows, and Steve Bannon. They have also threatened to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department should they refuse to comply with the said subpoena.
The panel has also already threatened to charge Bannon with criminal contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena. Bannon’s attorney cited that the refusal to cooperate was due to Trump’s claim of executive privilege. However, legal experts have refuted the claim, saying that Trump, being a former president, cannot lawfully invoke executive privilege to block Bannon from testifying before the panel.
During the insurrection, Trump’s own vice president Mike Pence was among the targets of the mob along with top Democrats in Congress. A segment on the usually Trump-friendly Fox News criticized Pence for trying to downplay the Capitol insurrection through fact-checking. Speaking with Sean Hannity, Pence accused the media of focusing on the Capitol insurrection to distract from Biden’s challenges, saying that it was simply “one day in January.”
However, a week later, Fox News host Howard Kurtz criticized Pence’s remarks. “Saying ‘one day in January’ is like calling 9/11 one day in September,” said Kurtz. “It was a pretty tragic day!”