NewsUSA and CanadaBiden orders more Trump records released to Congress

    Biden orders more Trump records released to Congress

    President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered the release of the record of visitors to the White House during Donald Trump’s presidency to the legislative committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, again rejecting the executive privilege argument made by the former president.

    The legislative committee has requested a number of documents from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, including documents that Trump wanted to keep confidential. The documents to be turned over now are records that reveal information about the people who were allowed into the White House on the day of the insurrection.

    In a letter sent Monday to the National Archives, White House counsel Dana Remus said Biden took note of Trump’s argument that because he was president at the time of the attack, the documents should be considered confidential, but decided that was not in the best interests of the United States.

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    He also noted that the Biden administration voluntarily discloses those visitor logs every month, as had been the case during Barack Obama’s presidency, and that most of the notes covered by Trump’s claim would pass into the public domain under current policy.

    A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The Presidential Records Act provides for documents created by a president and his staff to be retained in the National Archives. A president who ends his term is responsible for getting the documents to the archive. Trump tried unsuccessfully to prevent White House documents from reaching the commission, in a dispute ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court.

    Biden has said clearly that he will not invoke executive privilege as it relates to the legislative investigation unless he has no other choice. He has turned over much information requested by the committee, which in addition to studying documents, obtains testimony from witnesses, in some cases reluctant ones.

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    The committee is investigating Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, when he allowed hours to pass before telling his supporters to desist from violence and leave the Capitol. It also probes the organization and funding of an event in Washington the morning of the insurrection, when Trump told his followers to fight like demons.

    Investigators also want communications between the National Archives and Trump aides about 15 boxes of documents found at Trump’s Florida resort to learn their contents.

    White House call records obtained so far by the commission do not include Trump’s calls as he was following the unfolding violence on Jan. 6 on television or direct calls to the president.

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    The lack of information about Trump’s personal calls is a particular challenge for investigators who want to know what the then-president was doing when his supporters stormed the Capitol and disrupted the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

    There may be several explanations for the gaps in the records, which do not reflect, among others, Trump’s Jan. 6 conversations with various Republican lawmakers. It is known that Trump was using a personal cell phone, or possibly an aide passed him a phone. The commission continues to receive documents from the National Archives and other sources that could provide additional information.

    Jacob Anderson
    Jacob Anderson
    Jacob Anderson is Journalist and Political Analysis of Awutar. You can get him via: [email protected]


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