Trump’s attempt to withhold White House documents on Capitol riot overruled by Biden

Trump ‘looks like he’s on the campaign trail’ says expert

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Around 600 people currently face criminal charges in the US after their participation in the riot that stormed into the Capitol on 6 January, and now Donald Trump and his former collaborators’ work and communications on the same day are being investigated by a select committee from the House of Representatives. The committee has recently requested access to a number of records, including communication within the White House under Trump, his movements and communications that day and information about planning and funding for rallies held in Washington.

That request sought everything from Twitter messages, phone and visitor logs, and any videos and photos of events he participated in.

However, Donald Trump has reportedly sought to conceal some of these records by invoking executive privilege, a legal doctrine that protects the confidentiality of some communications between White House officials.

Dana Remus, a White House Counsel, wrote in a letter to the National Archives that “these are unique and extraordinary circumstances.”

“Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President’s constitutional responsibilities,” she wrote.

“The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”

On Friday the former president responded with a letter to the National Archives that formally claimed executive privilege over about 50 documents requested by the select committee.

“In cases like this, where Congress has declined to grant sufficient time to conduct a full review, there is a longstanding bipartisan tradition of protective assertions of executive privilege designed to ensure the ability to make a final privilege assertion, if necessary, over some or all of the requested material,” his lawyers wrote.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki reaffirmed Biden’s position regarding the commission accessing the records on Friday.

“The president is dedicated to ensuring that something like that could never happen again, which is why the administration is cooperating with ongoing investigations,” she said.

“The president has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives.”

Legal experts say Trump’s efforts to block the 6 January documents would be unlikely to succeed.

Mr Trump said in another statement the situation was persecution of political opponents from “Radical Left Democrats.”

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He said the 6 January committee was “about using the power of the government to silence ‘Trump’ and our Make America Great Again movement, the greatest such achievement of all time.”

“This Committee’s fake investigation is not about January 6th any more than the Russia Hoax was about Russia.”

“It’s another grand distraction because Biden and the Democrats don’t want you to see how badly America is losing due to their incompetence,” he added.

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