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Biden White House denies Trump's attempt to use 'executive privilege' to conceal records from January 6 committee: report

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/8/2021 jlahut@insider.com (Jake Lahut)
Former President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell © AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell Former President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
  • The Biden administration dealt a blow to former President Trump on the January 6 investigation.
  • White House counsel Dana Remus rejected a request from the Trump legal team, per NBC.
  • Remus instructed the National Archives to turn over documents related to the insurrection.

A request from former President Donald Trump's legal team to insulate him and his former advisors from the House investigation into the January 6 insurrection was rejected by the Biden White House on Friday, according to NBC News.

NBC News obtained a letter from White House Counsel Dana Remus instructing the National Archives to turn over "an initial batch of documents" related to the House committee's request.

The Trump legal team was trying to keep those documents secret, arguing that they fell under "executive privilege" despite none of the people involved - Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, and other Trump advisors - currently serving in the White House.

"President 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 any of the documents," Remus wrote, according to NBC News.

John Dean, who served as White House Counsel in the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal, on Thursday told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the Trump legal team's interpretation of executive privilege is "legally meritless."


Video: Why Trump's Jan. 6 executive privilege claim will likely fail (MSNBC)

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"These are unique and extraordinary circumstances," Remus continued in the letter, addressing the Trump legal team's claim of executive privilege. "Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President's constitutional responsibilities.

"The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself," she added.

One of the most glaring issues with the Trump team attempting to claim executive privilege fell with Bannon, who was no longer a White House employee on the day of the Capitol siege.

Trump responded later on Friday with a leter addressed to US Archivist David Ferriero at the National Archives, listing a series of documents and requesting "the ability to make a final privilege assertion, if necessary, over some or all of the requested material."

"I have determined that the following records contain information subject to executive privilege, including the presidential communications and deliberative process privileges, and I hereby formally assert executive privilege ver these records," Trump wrote in the statement.

Trump also cited opinions from former Attorneys General Janet Reno and Bill Barr, who had a falling out with Trump following the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.

The White House did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.

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