Politics

Biden blocks House Jan. 6 committee request for some Trump-era documents


President Biden has agreed to shield some of the Trump White House documents requested by the House Jan. 6 committee.

The White House raised concerns that some of the documents, if released over the objections of former President Donald Trump, could compromise national security and thwart executive privilege.

Mr. Biden previously dismissed Mr. Trump’s efforts to block the release of White House documents with claims of executive privilege. Mr. Biden still has overruled Mr. Trump’s blanket request to keep documents from the Democrat-run committee that is investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Biden so far has supported releasing the majority of the Trump-era documents held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

However, in two letters earlier this month, the White House counsel said some of the records should not be released because they contain sensitive correspondence with the National Security Council.

Other documents created on Jan. 6 and requested by the committee have little to do with the assault on the Capitol, said the White House counsel.

The Associated Press obtained the letters Tuesday.

The White House counsel also said that releasing the documents to Congress could set a dangerous precedent, echoing arguments made by Mr. Trump’s supporters.

“The documents for which the Select Committee has agreed to withdraw or defer its request do not appear to bear on the White House’s preparations for or response to the events of January 6, or on efforts to overturn the election or otherwise obstruct the peaceful transfer of power,” White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan Su wrote.

The White House also encouraged the committee to work directly with the federal agencies who created some of the highly classified documents that it has requested.

Mr. Su said the decision to withhold specific documents would not impede the committee’s “ability to complete its critical investigation expeditiously.”

Mr. Trump is fighting the release of thousands of records requested by the committee.

A federal appeals court declined to apply a blanket restriction to the release of documents as requested by the former president.

The three-judge panel also said Congress has a “uniquely vital interest” in getting to the bottom of Jan. 6 and that handing over the documents was in the public interest.

Mr. Trump has appealed the decision in the Supreme Court.




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