President Joe Biden doesn’t plan to stand in the way of the U.S. government releasing information to Congress on the actions of former President Donald Trump and his aides on Jan. 6.
”We take this matter incredibly seriously,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday. ”The president has already concluded that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege and so we will respond promptly to these questions as they arise and certainly as they come up from Congress.
”We have been working closely with congressional committees and others as they work to get to the bottom of what happened on Jan. 6, an incredibly dark day in our democracy,” she said.
The House committee investigating the January riot at the U.S. Capitol asked last month for a trove of records, including communication within the White House under Trump and information about planning and funding for rallies held in Washington.
Among those events was a rally near the White House featuring remarks by Trump, who addressed a crowd before before loyalists stormed the Capitol.
A person familiar with the matter confirmed that the first tranche of documents from the Trump White House was turned over by the National Archives at the end of last month to the White House and Trump. Either party can object to the release of specific items. And Biden’s White House has the right to overrule a Trump effort to block the release of information.
The requested documents are part of a lengthy, partisan and rancorous investigation into how a mob infiltrated the Capitol and disrupted the certification of Biden’s presidential victory, inflicting the most serious assault on Congress in two centuries. More than 650 people have been charged criminally in the attack, the largest prosecution in U.S. history.
The request for the National Archives and Records Administration is 10 pages long. The committee is seeking ”All documents and communications within the White House on January 6, 2021” related to Trump’s close advisers and family members, the rally at the nearby Ellipse and Trump’s Twitter feed.
It asks for his specific movements on that day and communications, if any, from the White House Situation Room.
Also sought are all documents related to claims of election fraud, as well as U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the topic.
In a statement last month, Trump said he would ask Biden’s attorneys to assert executive privilege, which would be ”defended, not just on behalf of my administration and the Patriots who worked beside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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