6 January House Panel Defers Its Request for Scores of WH Records, Says Some to Be Shielded
06:13 GMT 29.12.2021 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
Last week, former US President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to block a demand for White House records from the 6 January House Select Committee, after two lower courts rejected the argument that the documents were protected by executive privilege, a legal doctrine that protects the confidentiality of some White House communications.
A House committee probing the 6 January Capitol riot
has agreed with the White House to defer its request for hundreds of records from the Trump administration.
In a letter to the House panel dated 16 December and released by US media on Wednesday, White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote that "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 6 January, or on efforts to overturn the election or otherwise obstruct the peaceful transfer of power".
Su reportedly added that withholding the documents "should not compromise its [the committee's] ability to complete its critical investigation expeditiously".
The White House deputy counsel also argued that the deferral reflects "the ongoing effort by the executive and legislative branches to ensure that the Select Committee's legitimate needs are accommodated while preserving important Executive Branch prerogatives, such as the need for confidentiality in presidential decision-making".
The Associated Press, meanwhile, quoted House Select Committee spokesman Tim Mulvey as saying that the panel "has agreed to defer action on certain records as part of the accommodations process, as was the case with an earlier tranche of records".
"The Select Committee has not withdrawn its request for these records and will continue to engage with the executive branch to ensure the committee gets access to all the information relevant to our probe", Mulvey pointed out.
The remarks came after AP reported that US President Joe Biden had rejected former POTUS Donald Trump's calls to block the release of the Capitol riot-related Trump administration documents on the grounds of executive privilege but is still working with the House Select Committee to shield some of them.
15 December 2021, 14:01 GMT
The ex-POTUS earlier appealed to the Supreme Court to block the National Archives, which has custody of the Trump-era documents, from handing them over to the panel after lower federal courts ruled against Trump.
The 45th president has repeatedly dismissed the committee's probe into the events of 6 January as a political sideshow and continuation of the alleged "witch hunt" against him by Democrats and so-called "RINO" (Republican in Name Only) lawmakers.
An unnamed committee source has, in the meantime, been cited by CNN as saying that the panel plans to release an interim report containing its initial findings by this summer, while a final report is scheduled for the fall of 2022.
Since the creation of the panel in July 2021, hundreds of witnesses, including Trump aides, have given testimonies during the committee's closed-door gatherings.
6 January Capitol Riots
On 6 January 2021, a mob of Trump supporters besieged the US Capitol in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying the results of what the 45th president slammed as "the most corrupt elections"
in American history. Five people died during the riots, and dozens more were injured, including at least 138 police officers.
9 November 2021, 21:01 GMT
Trump held a rally on 6 January outside the White House, where he promised supporters that he would not allow the election to be "stolen" from him.
Using his now-suspended Twitter account, the 45th president later urged his supporters "to stay peaceful" and "to go home", recording a video address on 7 January condemning the violence. Trump was then impeached for an unprecedented second time over accusations of "incitement of insurrection", but managed to evade conviction in the Senate.