US National Archives Hands Over More Trump Documents to House January 6 Panel

© Flickr / Steve KnightUS National Archives Building in Washington, DC
US National Archives Building in Washington, DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.03.2022
Former US President Donald Trump has been fighting a slowly losing battle to keep his presidential files out of the hands of a Democrat-led congressional probe into the events of January 6, 2021, when his supporters stormed the Capitol Building following a rally he hosted.
"Yesterday, the Select Committee received additional production of records from the National Archives," a House of Representatives Select Committee aide told Reuters on Friday. "This included records that the former President attempted to keep hidden behind claims of privilege."
The document in question was the White House visitor logs. Two weeks prior, US President Joe Biden ordered the National Archives to hand over the dossier, which chief archivist David Ferriero affirmed he would do, barring a court order to the contrary.
The exact scope or contents of the logs is unclear, as is the ultimate purpose behind the House Select Committee seeking them, except perhaps to verify if certain suspect persons visited the presidential mansion in the time leading up to the January 6 insurrection. Dana Remus, the Biden White House’s chief legal counsel, only described the sought-after files as “entries in visitor logs showing appointment information for individuals who were processed to enter the White House complex, including on Jan. 6, 2021.”
Trump has sought to block delivery of the files to the committee under the aegis of “executive privilege,” but a series of court rulings, including by the US Supreme Court, have slowly chipped away at that defense.
In late January, the US Department of Justice said it would give the committee four of the over 700 pages it has sought, because they were not covered by Trump’s claims. It’s unclear if those files have already been handed over. However, in early February, the National Archives and Records Administration revealed that it had retrieved 15 boxes of records from Trump’s resort in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, out of which Trump had run much of his four years in office.
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol has been gathering information for months on the planning and execution of the so-called Stop the Steal rally on January 6, 2021, hosted by Trump outside the White House, which preceded the assault on the Capitol.
At the rally, Trump urged his supporters to prevent the Democrats from “stealing” the November 2020 election, baselessly insisting his electoral loss to Biden had been achieved by fraud. Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, where Congress was certifying the election results, sacking the building and sending lawmakers fleeing to safety. The rioters ultimately failed at their goal, and were cleared from the legislative building by police and National Guard, who garrisoned the city afterward with an unprecedented number of troops.
Five people died in the attack, including a US Capitol Police officer and a woman shot by a USCP officer outside the House chamber while she was attempting to break through the door. The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident.
More than 725 people have been charged with taking part, or playing a role, in the riot. Many of those subpoenaed by the Select Committee for documents or testimony have refused to cooperate. Some of those have been held in contempt of Congress, including Trump’s ex-chief adviser and former Breitbart editor Steve Bannon, and Trump’s chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows.
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