The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has agreed to the Biden administration’s request to shield hundreds of pages of Trump administration documents over national security and executive privilege concerns, according to a report.
President Biden has rejected former President Donald Trump’s calls to block the release of the documents on grounds of executive privilege but is still working with the House committee to shield some of them, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The 45th president has appealed to the Supreme Court to block the National Archives, which has custody of the Trump-era documents, from turning them over to the panel after lower federal courts ruled against him.
The White House counsel’s office wrote in a Dec. 16 letter obtained by the AP that some records not pertaining to the Jan. 6 riot should be shielded, even though they were included in the House panel’s sweeping request for documents.
Some of the records cover sensitive deliberations by the National Security Council, and Biden administration officials worry that the document dump would set a dangerous precedent.
Other documents include classified information, and the White House has asked Congress to work with the federal agencies that created them to determine whether they should be released.
“The documents for which the Select Committee has agreed to withdraw or defer its request do not appear to bear on the White House’s preparations for or response to the events of January 6, or on efforts to overturn the election or otherwise obstruct the peaceful transfer of power,” White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote.
However, Su added, withholding the records “should not compromise its ability to complete its critical investigation expeditiously.”
The documents held by the National Archives include presidential diaries, visitor logs, telephone call records, and handwritten notes from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the events of that day.
A mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol in an effort to disrupt certification of the 2020 president election results by Congress.
With Post wires