The White House of President Joe Biden said it will not use executive privilege to prevent records on the Jan. 6 Capitol attack from ending up in the hands of the congressional committee investigating the siege. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The White House has again rejected former President Donald Trump's attempt to invoke executive privilege powers to keep documents he wants private from a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building.
White House Counsel Dana Remus on Monday sent National Archivist David Ferriero a letter that was obtained by CBS News and The Hill, and which was first reported on by CNN, stating President Joe Biden will not assert executive privilege on documents that Trump wants to prevent the committee from obtaining.
Biden, the letter states, made the decision after considering Trump's assertion and after Remus consulted with the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.
"President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified," Remus wrote. "Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former president's assertion of privilege."
The letter was sent weeks after Biden on Oct. 8 rejected a similar ask of the former Republican president concerning documents about the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol building by his supporters in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
Five people died during the siege and more than 140 law enforcement officers were injured. More than 650 people have been arrested nationwide concerning the attack.
During the announcement of the White House's first rejection of executive privilege, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that they will evaluate questions of privilege on a case-by-case basis.
"But the president has also been clear that he believes it to be of the utmost importance for both Congress and the American people to have a complete understanding of the events of that day to prevent them from happening again," she said in a press conference.
Early last week, Trump filed a lawsuit asking a judge to bar the National Archives and Records Administration from releasing the records to the Jan. 6 committee, describing the investigation as "a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition."
The Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6th Attack on the United States Capitol was founded July 1 with the mission to investigate and report on the facts, circumstances and causes relating to the domestic terrorist attack.
In late August, the panel asked Ferriero for "all documents and communications relating in any way to remarks made by Donald Trump or any other persons on January 6," among a slew of other documents, records and videos.
The committee has also issued subpoenas for documents and testimony of those connected to the events that led up to the siege, with the House having voted on Thursday to hold Steve Bannon, a former top Trump advisor, in criminal contempt for defying such an order.
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo