The White House on Friday formally blocked an attempt by Donald Trump as US president to withhold documents from Congress related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden had authorized the National Archives, a government agency, to turn over the initial batch of documents requested by the select committee of the US House of Representatives probing the riots, which are on record in Trump’s office. keeps.
“The president has determined that the first set of Trump White House documents does not necessarily warrant a claim of executive privilege that has been provided to us by the National Archives,” Psaki said.
Executive privilege is a legal principle that protects the confidentiality of certain communications between White House officials. Trump said the Biden administration is using the investigation to undermine his future political prospects.
“It’s about using the power of the government to silence ‘Trump’ and our Make America Great Again movement, the greatest achievement ever,” he said in a statement.
Crowds of Trump supporters stormed the congressional seat on Jan. 6 in a failed bid to stop lawmakers from attesting to Democrat Biden’s presidential victory. More than 600 people stemming from the incident are now facing criminal charges.
The January 6 selection committee has threatened criminal contempt charges against Steve Bannon, a longtime Trump adviser who is refusing to cooperate with the investigation. “We will not allow any witness to attempt to run a valid subpoena or watch, and we will swiftly consider pursuing criminal contempt of Congress referral,” said Reps Benny Thompson and Liz Cheney , who heads the committee.
Bannon told the committee on Thursday that he would not comply with the summons issued last month. Bannon’s attorney, Robert Costello, said in a letter to the committee that the denial was due to Trump’s claim that he could invoke executive privilege to block Bannon’s testimony.
Legal experts have said that Trump, as a former president, cannot legally use executive privilege to block a summons issued by a select committee.