WASHINGTON – Former President Donald J. Trump is seeking to prevent the release of a wide range of documents related to the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol, the National Archives said on Saturday in a federal court filing earlier this morning detailing what Mr. Trump is fighting. keep secret.

In the case filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, John Laster, the director of the Presidential Records Division of the National Archives, laid out for the first time exactly which documents Mr. Trump is claiming privilege on. executive. The former president hopes to prevent the documents from being examined by the House committee empowered to investigate mob violence on Capitol Hill.

According to the record, Mr. Trump asserted executive privilege in particular on 770 pages of documents, including 46 pages of documents from the files of Mark Meadows, his former chief of staff; Stephen Miller, his former senior advisor; and Patrick Philbin, his former deputy legal counsel. Mr. Trump also opposes the publication of the Daily White House newspaper – a recording of the president’s movements, phone calls, trips, briefings, meetings and activities – as well as logs showing phone calls to the President. President and Vice President Mike Pence. regarding Jan. 6, Mr Laster wrote.

Mr Trump also claimed executive privilege on 656 pages that include proposed talking points for Kayleigh McEnany, his former press secretary; a handwritten note concerning January 6; a draft text of a presidential speech for the “Save America” rally which preceded the mob attack; and a draft decree on the subject of the integrity of the elections, indicates the file.

Finally, Mr. Trump claimed executive privilege on an additional 68 pages, including a draft proclamation honoring the Capitol Police and two officers who died after the riot, Brian D. Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, as well as related emails; a note on a possible multi-state lawsuit that Joseph R. Biden Jr. won in the November election; an email chain from a government official regarding election-related matters; and talking points about alleged electoral irregularities in a Michigan county.

The filing comes in response to a lawsuit Mr. Trump filed this month against the National Archives to block the disclosure of White House files related to his actions and communications regarding the January 6 riot.

In that lawsuit, in a 26-page complaint, an attorney for Mr. Trump argued that the documents should be kept secret because of executive privilege. The lawyer said the Constitution gave the former president the right to demand their confidentiality even though he was no longer in office – and even though President Biden refused to invoke executive privilege over them.

The lawsuit sparked what is expected to be a major legal battle between Mr. Trump and the House committee investigating the January 6 attack, in which a crowd of his supporters stormed Capitol Hill seeking to disrupt the congressional electoral vote count to formalize Mr. Biden’s victory. Its outcome will have ramifications for anything the panel can find out about Mr. Trump’s role in the riot, ask thorny questions of the Biden administration, and potentially set new precedents on presidential prerogatives and the separation of powers.

Committee leaders, Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, and Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, condemned Mr. Trump’s trial as “nothing more than an attempt to delay and obstruct our investigation.” .

“It’s hard to imagine a more compelling public interest than trying to get answers on an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn the results of an election,” said Mr. Thompson, chairman of the committee, and Ms. Cheney, vice president, wrote in a statement after the complaint was filed.

The committee demanded detailed accounts of every move and meeting Mr. Trump had on the day of the assault. The panel’s requests, sent to the National Archives and Records Administration, include information about any plan formed within the White House or other federal agencies to derail Congress’s Electoral College vote count.

“The complainant’s claims for executive privilege fail because the privilege is not absolute, and here it is balanced by Congress’ compelling need for information on the extraordinary attack that has taken place on Capitol Hill,” government lawyers wrote in response to Mr. Trump’s trial on Saturday. “The committee’s investigation into the January 6 attack clearly embodies a legitimate legislative objective.”

In a pair of letters this month to the National Archives, which have been the repository of White House documents since Mr. Trump’s tenure, Mr. Biden’s senior White House lawyer Dana Remus made it clear that the current president was not thinking of a demand from the executive. the privilege was legitimate in these circumstances.

Mr. Trump’s trial names Mr. Thompson and David S. Ferriero, the head of the National Archives, as accused.


Source link