Biden rejects Trump's privilege request for White House visitor logs

President Biden opposes another effort by former President Donald J. Trump to conceal information from the House committee investigating...


President Biden opposes another effort by former President Donald J. Trump to conceal information from the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, ordering the National Archives to turn over visitors’ logs from the White House that the committee is looking for.

In a letter to the National Archives, Mr. Biden’s White House attorney, Dana Remus, said Mr. Biden rejected Mr. Trump’s claims that visitors’ diaries were subject to executive privilege. and that “in view of the urgency” of the committee’s work. , the agency must provide the material to the committee within 15 days.

Mr. Biden had also decided last year not to support Mr. Trump’s claim for executive privilege over other batches of White House documents and records sought by the committee. Mr. Trump went to federal court to block the release of these earlier batches but lost.

Citing in part the same reasoning as in the previous case, Ms Remus told the National Archives that the documents should be released in a timely manner because “Congress has a dire need.” She said “the constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to protect, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to overturn the Constitution itself.”

It is unclear whether Mr. Trump will go to court again to try to block or slow the publication of visitor logs.

The White House sent the letter to David S. Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, on Tuesday, and plans to brief Mr. Trump’s lawyers on Wednesday morning. The New York Times obtained a copy of the letter.

It’s unclear what visitor logs might show or how extensive and comprehensive they are. In the letter, Ms Remus said the records in this case “are entries in visitor logs showing appointment information for people who have been processed to enter the White House complex, including the January 6, 2021”.

Under Mr. Biden and under President Barack Obama, the White House has made its visitor logs public, a move that proponents of open government say gives the public a better idea of ​​who has a direct connection to those in charge. most powerful in the country.

But the Trump administration said in April 2017 that these logs should be kept secret because of “serious national security risks and privacy concerns for hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.” Banning their disclosure made it much more difficult to determine which donors, lobbyists and activists had access to Mr. Trump and his aides.

In her letter to the National Archives, Ms. Remus pointed out that “the majority of entries over which the former president claimed executive privilege would be made public under” Mr. Biden’s policy.

Committee investigators have made progress in recent weeks in painting a better picture of what Mr. Trump was doing inside the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, and who visited him. In doing so, they relied in part on lower-level staffers and documents from Trump’s White House. Mr. Trump watched the West Wing protests on television and, according to letters released by the committee, requests initially refused aides to intervene to stop the crowd.

Through testimony, the committee learned that White House aides asked one of Mr. Trump’s daughters, Ivanka, “to intervene in an attempt to persuade President Trump to remedy the lawlessness and ongoing violence in the Capitol,” according to a letter sent by the committee Mrs Trump last month asked him to sit down for questioning.

The committee also looked more broadly at efforts by Mr. Trump and his aides and advisers in the months after Election Day to avoid his defeat, and full access to visitor logs could provide the committee with further insights. on who was in the White House during that time.

Many members of the inner circle of outside advisers who had Mr. Trump’s ear after Election Day spent considerable time at the White House in the days and weeks leading up to the attacks. They include figures like his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, which helped lead the push to challenge the results; the conservative lawyer John Eastman, who argued that Vice President Mike Pence could derail congressional certification of Electoral College results; and former national security adviser Michael T. Flynnwho pursued baseless theories about voter fraud and the manipulation of results.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden rejects Trump's privilege request for White House visitor logs
Biden rejects Trump's privilege request for White House visitor logs
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