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White House Formally Rejects Trump’s Request To Protect Specific Documents From Jan.6 Release To Investigators
The latest letter came after the Biden administration informed the National Archives on Friday that it would not claim executive privilege over a slice of January 6-related documents from the Trump White House. When the White House sent its first letter last week, the former president had yet to formally submit his objections. The latest White House council response is more of a technical issue in response to Trump’s request for the subset of documents, according to a familiar person, reaffirming President Joe Biden’s decision already not to argue executive privilege.
The letter sent Friday, and released Wednesday, from White House attorney Dana Remus to US archivist David Ferriero requests that the documents be released “30 days after your notification to the former president, by absence of any intermediate court decision “.

In the letter released Wednesday, Remus wrote: “President Biden has reviewed the former president’s assertion, and I have initiated further consultations with the Office of the Legal Advisor at the Department of Justice. For the same reasons described in [sic] previous letter, the President maintains his conclusion that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interest of the United States and is therefore not justified with respect to any of the documents provided to the White House on September 8, 2021. “

“Accordingly, President Biden does not confirm the former President’s assertion of privilege.”

Legal experts say Biden has the final say on whether these documents are covered by executive privilege, and given that the committee is headed by members of Biden’s party, Trump’s power to influence the outcome is an open question.

The House select committee launched a massive investigation on January 6. As part of this, the panel sent requests for information to a number of federal agencies, including the National Archives, the Trump administration’s custodian of records in the White House.

The committee requested “all documents and communications within the White House” that day, including call logs, schedules and meetings with senior officials and outside advisers, including Rudy Giuliani.

To date, the former president has not been as legally aggressive in trying to assert this executive privilege as his public statements might suggest and the White House announcement indicates he will likely struggle. prevent communication of the first batch of documents to the committee.

That said, Trump can still attempt to protect his records by suing the agencies involved – assuming he can muster enough legal firepower for a costly and complex court battle.

If Trump takes legal action, it could, at the very least, slow down the process of handing over the documents, but the former president has little time to take that step, according to Deborah Pearlstein, constitutional law professor at Cardozo. Faculty of Law which is an expert on presidential powers.

“If the incumbent president has said he is not going to assert the privilege, then there is a certain amount of time (before) the documents must then be released unless the former president succeeds in obtaining an order. court, an injunction, for example, prohibiting their release, “she told CNN last week. “It would require a pretty big decision from a federal court.”

“It’s not impossible, but all of this is now under a ticking clock,” she added, noting that we might see activity “if the former president and his team are legally aggressive, the sooner. possible”.

This story has been updated with additional reports.

CNN’s Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.