Washington — President Biden has rejected former President Trump’s assertion of executive privilege for the first set of Trump White House documents requested by January 6 select committee.
The White House said it would give the panel access to a trove of federal records connected to the Trump White House and the January 6 insurrection, the Biden administration announced Friday.
In a letter to the archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, White House counsel Dana Remus said Mr. Biden “has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the Untied States, and therefore is not justified as to any of the Documents.”
The House January 6 select committee requested the documents from the National Archives in August, including all “documents and communications relating in any way to remarks made by Donald Trump or any other persons on January 6.”
Attorneys representing Mr. Trump asked that the documents be withheld from the committee under the assertion of privilege, arguing that documents and communications related to a sitting president should be shielded from public oversight.
Citing what it described as these “unique and extraordinary circumstances,” the White House said, “Congress has a compelling need…to understand the circumstances that led to these horrific events.”
“The Documents shed light on events within the White House on and about January 6 and bear on the Select Committee’s need to understand the facts,” the letter reads.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that Mr. Biden “believes it to be the utmost importance for the American people to have a complete understanding of the events of that day to prevent them from happening again.”
But she also noted that evaluating requests for privilege would take place on a case-by-case basis. It’s “an ongoing process, and this is just the first set of documents,” she told reporters.
The Biden administration’s decision was made public soon after a former top adviser of Mr. Trump, Steve Bannon, said he would not comply with a subpoena from the committee, citing executive privilege.
Nikole Killion and Bo Erickson contributed to this report.