DONALD TRUMP

Biden Rejects Trump Bid to Stop Jan. 6 Probe From Getting White House Visitor Logs From Day of Attack

Reuters
  • President Joe Biden has rejected former President Donald Trump's effort to stop the House probe of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from obtaining White House visitor logs from the day of the attack.
  • Biden's counsel Dana Remus told the National Archives and Records Administration that the president is ordering the release of those and other records to the House select committee.
  • Trump had claimed that the records are protected by executive privilege.

President Joe Biden has rejected former President Donald Trump's effort to stop the House probe of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from obtaining White House visitor logs from the day of the attack.

Biden's counsel Dana Remus told the National Archives and Records Administration in a letter dated Tuesday that the president is ordering the release of those and other records to the House select committee.

Trump had claimed that the records — entries in visitor logs showing who was processed to enter the White House complex, including on Jan. 6, 2021 — are protected by executive privilege, the legal doctrine that allows for some executive-branch documents to be kept hidden.

But Biden "has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to these records and portions of records," Remus told U.S. National Archivist David Ferriero in the letter obtained by CNBC.

In a letter to Trump on Wednesday, Ferriero said he plans to deliver the disputed documents to the select committee on March 3 "unless prohibited by court order."

A spokesperson for the select committee declined CNBC's request for comment.

The New York Times first reported Remus' letter earlier Wednesday.

Biden's White House last year had declined Trump's attempt to assert executive privilege over a different set of records sought by the select committee, which is investigating what led a mob of hundreds of Trump's supporters to storm the Capitol.

Trump sued, and lost, in federal district court and in a U.S. appeals court to block the release of that tranche of more than 700 pages of White House records.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month rejected Trump's case; the records were transferred to the committee from the National Archives days later.

In Tuesday's letter, Remus noted that Ferriero has "requested President Biden's views with respect to the disclosure of those documents to the Select Committee and on the former President's claims of privilege."

"President Biden has considered the former President's claims, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice," Remus wrote.

"The President has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to these records and portions of records," the White House counsel wrote.

She noted that the Biden administration, like former President Barack Obama's administration, voluntarily released White House visitor logs on monthly basis as a matter of course. The Trump administration had initially refused to disclose all such visitor logs, but released a trove of them after a lawsuit.

"As practice under that policy demonstrates, preserving the confidentiality of this type of record generally is not necessary to protect long-term institutional interests of the Executive Branch," Remus wrote to Ferriero.

"Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former President's assertions of privilege. He therefore instructs you, in accord with Section 4(b) of Executive Order 13489, to provide to the Select Committee the records and portions of records identified as privileged by the former President," she wrote.

Biden ordered the Archives to hand the visitor logs over to the select committee 15 days after notifying Trump about it.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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