The National Archives said many files came from the systems of key Trump employees, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, advisor Stephen Miller and assistant attorney Patrick Philbin.
Other documents include “Draft text of a March Save America Presidential Address, January 6, 2021; a handwritten list of possible or planned briefings and telephone calls on election topics; and a draft executive order on electoral integrity … a draft proclamation honoring the late Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood and related emails from the Office of the Executive Clerk referring to the Special Committee’s interest in the White House’s response to it the attack on the Capitol. “
“These records all relate to events on or about January 6th and may aid the Special Committee’s investigation on that day, including what happened at the White House immediately before, during and after the attack on the 6th on behalf of archivist David Ferriero wrote in the file.
The documents have been unearthed in four separate tranches, identified by the National Archives since the special committee requested them in late August. Trump sued October 15 to block the release and asked a federal judge to issue an urgent order preventing the national archives from submitting it to the committee.
The National Archives submitted its files in response to Trump’s lawsuit to seek an urgent judicial decision to prevent Ferriero from forwarding them to Congress. Trump has claimed that disclosing the documents would destroy the privileges of the executive branch and represent an unprecedented breach of the executive branch.
But the archives rejected Trump’s legal arguments, emphasizing that the committee’s inquiries dated Jan.
“Even assuming the applicability of executive privileges, however, the documents can help the special committee improve efforts to communicate with the American public, including those facing other issues related to the 2020 election of the Capitol on the 6th,” the newspaper reads File.
Trump’s efforts to suppress more than 750 pages of files are far more extensive than previously known and comprise documents from three separate tranches that have been identified by the National Archives since early October in response to a January 6 inquiry by the Special Committee.
In its own filing, the Jan. 6 special committee says a federal court must reject Trump’s efforts to obstruct its investigation or risk abusing future elections.
The panel argues that the ongoing efforts by Trump and his allies to undermine confidence in the federal election are reinforcing the committee’s need to access Trump’s White House records in order to understand its attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
“The urgency of the work cannot be overestimated,” writes Doug Letter, legal advisor to the House of Representatives, in the 52-page brief served on Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday evening. “The threat that sparked the January 6th attack continues. Those who falsely claimed the election was stolen (including Mr. Trump) continue to do so. “
Chutkan is due to hold a hearing on Thursday on Trump’s offer to block access to his records. She was among the most outspoken judges at the Federal Bank in Washington, DC, calling the January 6 attack a fundamental attack on democracy – fueled by rioters loyal to Trump. In the chaos that day, several rioters died and more than 140 police officers were injured.
Ferriero has indicated that it intends to deliver a first batch of documents by November 12, unless a court orders otherwise.
In his lawsuit, Trump argues that the committee’s efforts to investigate the attack are political and efforts to preserve its documents would undermine the ability of all future presidents to have open discussions with advisers and allies.
In its new filing, however, the committee sharply rejects these allegations, noting that Biden had already found the investigation meritorious and that Trump’s unique role in promoting false claims about the elections warrants an exhaustive enumeration of his actions.
“Mr. Trump is – so far – a case of one,” argues the committee. “He is – so far – the only failed presidential candidate who does not give in, having spent months telling lies about the self-coup who would keep him in office illegally, or inspire a mob to attack the Capitol. There is no one more important to see how legislation can prevent such acts from being repeated. “
In addition, the committee says that if Trump’s lawsuit were successful, it could frustrate efforts to fully understand the events of January 6 and “prevent a similar future attack on American democracy.”
Throughout its filing, the committee emphasizes that Biden agrees with lawmakers on the urgency of his investigation. And it cites a Nixon-era precedent to indicate that the Supreme Court has found that former presidents have less legal powers to demand the confidentiality of executive records.
It is important that this is the first time that an incumbent president has opposed a claim of privilege submitted by a former president. Biden’s demand should prevail, as courts have ruled that the current president has a better perspective on how to protect the interests of the executive branch.
“As President Biden noted, any burden on the office of president is far outweighed by the urgent need for the special committee to have information to pass laws vital to our democracy,” the committee writes.
Biden has repeatedly declined to invoke executive privilege against the records requested by the committee on Jan. 6, but the panel did postponed a request for around 50 pages identified as relevant by the National Archives. Committee members indicated that the decision should avoid a potentially long delay due to potential privilege concerns.
The Jan. 6 committee also denied Trump’s allegation that a Supreme Court ruling in a separate case – an attempt by the House in 2019 to obtain its financial records – should halt the committee’s request for its White House papers. That ruling, the committee said, only affected the personal papers of an incumbent president – not the official records of a former president.
Trump also argued that the committee’s need for its documents is minimal and that the panel can pursue its legislative goals without receiving records that it considers privileged. But the committee called the idea “absurd”.
“The long public records of Mr. Trump’s testimony and actions … provide a rich basis from which to search the non-public records of the person the attackers attempted to keep in the White House,” the committee writes. “Any investigation that did not insist on examining Mr Trump’s documents and communications would be worse than useless – the equivalent of staging ‘Hamlet’ without the Prince of Denmark.”