President Biden Blocks Donald Trump's Attempt to Prevent Release of January 6 Documents

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Christine Beswick

President Joe Biden has, on Friday, denied a request from Donald Trump to prevent the release of documents related to the events of the January 6 insurrection, reports NBC News. The former president's request to prevent the release of the records came on the grounds of "constitutionally-based privilege" and was a request issued by Donald Trump to the National Archives on October 8.

The grounds of constitutionally-based privilege are patently rejected by the White House with White House Counsel Dana Remus saying the assertion of executive privilege, in this case, is not in the best interests of the United States.

White House Counsel Dana Remus further noted the extraordinary circumstances of the events of January 6, and said that 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."

The National Archives

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The documents are held by the National Archives and are to be part of an ongoing investigation into the January 6 insurrection. They are a component of many documents being sought by the House Select Committee investigating the events on and around that day and were requested on March 25 and August 25 this year by the Committee.

White House Counsel Dana Remus called the January 6 insurrection an "assault on the Constitution," as part of her grounds to block Trump's request to withhold documents from Congress.

Donald Trump is not the first to attempt to block the committee's access to every piece of data possible that would explain who is responsible for the events that led to the January 6 insurrection.

On October 8, 2021, Donald Trump wrote a letter to David Ferriero of the National Archives regarding the documents in question. He referred to an "extremely broad set of documents and records potentially numbering in the millions."

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Stop the Steal and Oath Keepers

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The records were reportedly connected to communications with Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, and also to a White House rally. Twitter logs, meetings, events, photographs, videos, and events that Donald Trump attended are also reportedly part of the documents. Digital time stamps and visitor logs are also in the documents.

One component of the request is seeking any record connected to events or officials from within the White House Situation Room or the White House Operations Center on January 6, 2021.

The committee also seeks a number of documents and records connected to organizations and organizers associated with the event, including Stop the Steal, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Proud Boys, and QAnon. Multiple former Trump officials and friends have also been subpoenaed by the committee. Some are said to be cooperating, some are not, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Stephen Bannon is not cooperating with the House probe.

September 23: Subpoenas to Trump Officials and Friends

In a letter on September 23 of this year, the House Select Committee issued a subpoena to Steve Bannon and others connected to Donald Trump and the Trump Administration. The letter announced that documents and testimony would be compelled for information related to the days leading up to the January 6 insurrection.

Those subpoenaed included former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, and former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon.

To Stephen Bannon specifically the Select Committee stated they had reason to believe he had information connected to those events, and that at an event on January 5, 2021, Bannon was quoted as stating "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow." The committee believes Stephen Bannon was at the Willard Hotel on January 5 to persuade "Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day."

The committee also believes Stephen Bannon had a conversation with Donald Trump on December 30, 2020, where they believe he was "urging him to plan for and focus his efforts on January 6."

October 8: January 6 House Committee Makes Rapid Progress

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Today, the White House has blocked any effort to prevent that information from reaching the Congress of the United States. In an announcement yesterday, Chairman of the Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) issued a statement about subpoena requests and deadline for witnesses that is currently on record.

Therein it was noted that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel were "so far" engaging with the committee. The Chairman and Vice-Chair also noted that where Stephen Bannon was concerned, he, "…has indicated that he will try to hide behind vague references to privileges of the former President."

The Select Committee fully expects to get their documents and deposition in the course of their investigation, and notes they are making "rapid progress" and "will not be deterred" by obstruction.

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