Oct 8 (Reuters) – The White House on Friday formally blocked an attempt by Donald Trump to withhold documents from Congress related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol when he was U.S. president.
Press secretary Jen Psaki stated President Joe Biden had approved the National Archives, a authorities company that holds information from Trump’s time in workplace, to flip over an preliminary batch of documents requested by the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the riot.
“The president has decided an assertion of government privilege is not warranted for the primary set of documents from the Trump White House which were supplied to us by the National Archives,” Psaki said.
Executive privilege is a legal doctrine that protects the confidentiality of some communications between White House officials.
Trump said the Biden administration was using the investigation to undercut his future political prospects.
“This is about utilizing the facility of the federal government to silence ‘Trump’ and our Make America Great Again motion, the best such achievement of all time,” he said in a statement.
Throngs of Trump supporters stormed the seat of Congress on Jan. 6 in a failed bid to prevent lawmakers from certifying Democrat Biden’s presidential victory. More than 600 people now face criminal charges stemming from the event.
The Jan. 6 Select Committee has threatened criminal contempt charges against Steve Bannon, the longtime Trump adviser who is refusing to cooperate with the inquiry.
“We will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral,” stated Representatives Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney, who lead the committee.
Bannon on Thursday instructed the committee he wouldn’t adjust to a subpoena it issued final month.
A lawyer for Bannon, Robert Costello, stated in a letter to the committee that the refusal was due to Trump’s declare that he can invoke government privilege to block Bannon’s testimony.
Legal specialists have stated Trump, as the previous president, can’t lawfully use government privilege to block subpoenas issued by the choose committee.