Biden leans against shielding Trump records in Jan. 6 investigation

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden has leaned toward not shielding former President Donald Trump's records from the Jan. 6 investigation, the White House press secretary indicated.

"I would say that we take this matter incredibly seriously," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday. "The president has already concluded that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege."


The remark came in response to a question about Trump saying Thursday he was going to assert executive privilege in response to subpoenas by the Jan. 6 committee even though he's no longer in the executive branch.

Psaki later clarified that each request by Trump would be considered on a "case-by-case" basis, Politico reported.


She was also asked whether anyone has reached out to the Biden administration to request records linked to Trump not be released, and she said she was not aware of any outreach.

Sitting presidents have traditionally used executive privilege to shield certain records from the public at their predecessors' request, NBC News reported, but Psaki emphasized the need for transparency with regard to the Jan. 6 insurrection, which delayed the counting of electoral votes at the Capitol showing that Biden won the election.

"We have been working closely ... with congressional committees and others as they work to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6th, an incredibly dark day in our democracy," she said.

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Psaki's comments came a day after the select panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued subpoenas to four former Trump aides, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former social media director Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon.

Meadows allegedly communicated with officials at the state level and in the Department of Justice as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent its certification, the statement on the subpoenas Thursday noted.


Patel told a reporter he was talking to Meadows, "non-stop" on Jan. 6, and other reporting indicated that Scavino promoted the Jan. 6 March for Trump, the statement also noted.

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Thursday's statement also made reference to Bannon telling listeners on his podcast called "War Room," on Jan. 5, "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow."

The Jan. 6 committee's request last month to the National Archives seeks "all documents and communications within the White House on January 6, 2021," related to the rally, the march to the Capitol, violence at the Capitol, counting of electoral votes, Trump, and some of his allies, family and friends, along with some other members of the Trump administration.

"The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol is examining the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6 attack," Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in the request to the National Archives. "Our constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned, and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules or regulations necessary to protect our republic in the future."


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