Written by KOLIN LONG
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has ordered the transfer of Trump White House visitor magazines to the House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the January 6, 2021 riots, rejecting former President Donald Trump’s claims to executive privilege.
The committee requested the collection of data from the National Archives, including presidential records, which Trump sought to keep private. Records passed to Congress are visitor journals that show information about the receptions of individuals who were allowed to enter the White House on the day of the uprising.
In a letter sent to the National Archives on Monday, White House attorney Dana Rimus said Biden had considered Trump’s assertion that since he was president during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the records should remain private, but decided it was “not in the best interests of the United States ”to do so.
She also noted that in politics, the Biden administration “voluntarily discloses monthly visitor magazines” like the Obama administration, and that most of the entries that Trump claimed would be made public under current policy.
A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Presidential Documents Act stipulates that records made by the incumbent president and his staff are kept in the National Archives, and the outgoing president is responsible for transmitting documents to the agency upon resignation. Trump tried but failed to relinquish White House documents to a House committee in a dispute decided by the Supreme Court.
Biden has already made it clear that he is not invoking the privileges of the executive over a Congressional inquiry unless absolutely necessary. Biden waived this privilege for significant other information requested by the committee, which reviews the materials and receives documents and testimony from witnesses, including some who do not cooperate.
The committee has focused on Trump’s actions since Jan. 6, when he waited for hours to tell his supporters to stop the violence and leave the Capitol. Investigators are also interested in organizing and funding a rally in Washington on the morning of the riots, when Trump told his supporters to “fight like hell.” Among the unanswered questions is how closely the organizers of the rally coordinated with the White House.
Investigators are also looking for links between the National Archives and Trump aides about 15 boxes of records the agency found in Trump at his Florida resort, and are trying to find out what they contain.
Meanwhile, White House call logs received so far by the House committee do not list calls made by Trump while he watched the violence unfold on television on Jan. 6, and do not list calls made directly to the president.
The lack of information about Trump’s personal calls is a particular problem as investigators work to find out what happened to the then-White House president when supporters brutally beat police, stormed the Capitol and suspended certification in Democratic Congressman Joe Biden. election victory.
For example, there are several possible explanations for the omissions in the records, which do not reflect Trump’s January 6 talks with several Republican lawmakers. It is known that Trump used a personal mobile phone, or he could pass the phone to his aides. The Committee also continues to receive records from the National Archives and other sources that may provide additional information.
Associated Press authors Mary Claire Jalonik and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.