Biden White House waives executive privilege for initial set of Trump-era documents sought by Jan. 6 panel

The ruling on the documents only applied to a number of records made available to the White House on Sept. 8, and Remus wrote, “We are continuing to review materials that you made available to the White House after that date and will respond at an appropriate time. ”

Biden’s decision triggers a window of at least 30 days for Trump to challenge the decision in court before the National Archives releases it to the panel on Jan. 6, experts told POLITICO. It reflects a similar decision made by Biden and his DOJ earlier this year to forego the privilege and allow former Trump DOJ officials to testify before congressional committees about the former president’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

In a letter to Ferriero received from POLITICO on Friday, Trump said the documents requested by the committee would contain information protected by “executive and other privileges, including but not limited to the president’s communications, deliberative process, and privileges of Lawyers and clients ”.

Trump stated that he wanted to claim the privilege over 45 specific documents identified by the National Archives in response to the committee’s request. These documents, Trump said in the two-page letter, contained proprietary “presidential communications” as well as deliberative litigation materials and legal-privileged materials.

Trump also indicated that he intends to declare future inquiries from the panel, which “may run into the millions,” as suspected of being excluded from release.

“Should the committee continue to seek other privileged information, I will take all necessary and reasonable steps to defend the office of the presidency,” wrote Trump.

The White House statement comes after the select panel of the House investigating the attack announced that former President Donald Trump’s two close allies – former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Pentagon adviser Kash Patel – the two top legislators announced on Friday.

The chairman of the panel Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) And the vice-chairman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) Confirmed in a statement that the two Trump employees had been in contact with the panel. Thompson and Cheney also threatened criminal disdain for former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon, who told the committee he would not cooperate with their investigation into the Capitol attack on January 6th.

“While the Select Committee welcomes the trustworthy dealings with witnesses who wish to cooperate in our investigation, we will not allow any witness to oppose a lawful subpoena or attempt to shorten the time, and we will immediately consider a criminal disregard for the referral of Congress. ”“ said Thompson and Cheney.

A Bannon attorney, Robert Costello, told the committee Thursday that Bannon would refuse to do so because Trump claims he could use executive privilege to block Bannon’s testimony.

“Until these problems are resolved, we will not be able to answer your request for documents and testimony,” Costello wrote to the committee on January 6th. Costello’s letter was first reported in the New York Times; POLITICO reported Thursday that Trump had instructed Bannon and other former aides summoned by the selected panel not to comply with the legislature’s demands.

It’s a questionable claim by Bannon’s attorney, given that the ex-Trump adviser was removed from the White House for years when the former president’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election – the subject of the committee’s subpoena – began in earnest. The privilege of the executive branch is usually reserved for the closest advisors to a president and is not intended as a broad shield for testimony.

Any move by the January 6th committee to keep a witness in criminal contempt would first require the panel to vote on disregard resolution. This resolution would then be moved to plenary for a vote.

The selected panel, which investigated the uprising of Trump supporters, had summoned four former employees of the former president: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, longtime Trump adviser Dan Scavino, former Trump Pentagon adviser Kash Patel and Bannon. All have been asked to produce documents by Thursday, and the panel is also trying to remove the four men next week.

A Meadows attorney did not immediately return a request for comment on the subpoena time limit.

Patel said in a statement Thursday: “I will continue to tell the American people the truth about January 6th, and I put our country and our freedoms first through my ‘fight with Kash’ initiative.

Scavino was served his subpoena on Friday, according to two sources familiar with the situation. He was in New York, and the subpoena, according to one of the sources, had been accepted by an agent at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida since the subpoena was publicly issued.

The January 6 committee declined to comment on the status of the subpoena to Scavino, which was not mentioned in the Thompson and Cheney statement.

If any of the four fail to do so, the committee could request a referral of criminal contempt, which will require the House of Representatives to take a full vote when it returns to its session later this month. This step would send the matter to the Justice Department for review. It’s unclear whether the DOJ would respond quickly to possible remittances, but members of the Jan. 6 panel have expressed hope that the Biden government would act urgently.

The deadline for the summoned former Trump advisors to testify next week would be more significant, according to sources close to the committee, as the four still have time to adhere to it. If they did not show up in the coming weeks, the committee could meet to consider referral, then vote and send them to plenary for consideration.

Rep. Thompson has indicated that he plans to complete his investigation by spring. This timeframe does not allow for lengthy litigation over the enforcement of subpoenas or the trial of recalcitrant witnesses if the nine-member bipartisan body is willing to stick to it.

Heather Caygle and Natasha Korecki contributed to this report

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