Trump wants call logs, hidden aid notes from Jan 6 panel
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Former President Donald Trump is trying to prevent documents, including call logs, drafts of remarks and speeches, and handwritten notes from his chief of staff regarding the January 6 Capitol uprising, from being released to the riot investigative committee, the National Archives revealed in a court filing early Saturday.
Trump has filed a lawsuit to prevent the National Archives from forwarding these documents, and thousands more, to the House committee investigating the attack. President Joe Biden has refused to assert executive privilege over most of Trump’s files after determining that it is “not in the best interest of the United States.”
Saturday’s filing, which was part of the National Archives and Record Administration’s opposition to Trump’s trial, details the agency’s efforts to identify the Trump White House documents in response to a broad demand for 13 House committee pages for documents relating to the insurgency and Trump’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
The document offers a first glimpse of the type of documents that may soon be submitted to the committee for its investigation.
Billy Laster, the director of the White House liaison division of the National Archives, wrote that among the particular documents Trump sought to block are 30 pages of “daily presidential papers, schedules, information on appointments. showing you visitors to the White House, activity logs, calls logs and switchboard change checklists showing calls to the president and vice president, all specifically for or encompassing January 6, 2021 ; 13 pages of “drafts of speeches, remarks, and correspondence regarding the events of January 6, 2021; and “three handwritten notes regarding the events of January 6 from the files of (former White House chief of staff Mark) Meadows”.
Trump also attempted to exercise executive privilege on the pages of the binder of talking points and statements by former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany “primarily regarding allegations of voter fraud, election security and d ‘other matters concerning the 2020 elections “.
Other documents included a handwritten note from Meadows files “listing potential or scheduled briefings and phone calls regarding January 6 certification and other electoral matters” and “a draft decree on the subject of integrity of elections ”.
Laster’s statement notes that the National Archives search began with paper records, as it wasn’t until August that the digital records from the Trump White House were transferred to the agency. The National Archives, he wrote, has identified “several hundred thousand potentially responsive records” of Trump’s White House emails out of the roughly 100 million sent or received during his administration, and s ‘were trying to determine whether they related to the House’s request.
Biden has so far waived executive privilege on nearly all documents requested by the committee, although the committee has agreed to “defer” its requests for several dozen pages of documents at Biden’s White House request.
In explaining why Biden failed to protect Trump’s files, White House attorney Dana Remus wrote that they could “shed light on events in the White House on and around January 6 and bring on the need for the select committee to understand the facts underlying the most serious attack on federal government operations since the Civil War.
On January 6, an armed crowd of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to prevent certification of Biden’s election victory. Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House for inciting a riot, but was acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.
Trump called the request document an “illegal and vexatious fishing expedition” that was “cut off from any legitimate legislative purpose,” in his lawsuit to prevent the National Archives from turning over the documents to the committee.
The lawsuit also challenges the legality of the Presidential Records Act, arguing that allowing an incumbent president to waive the executive privilege of a predecessor just months after his departure is inherently unconstitutional. Biden said he would review each request separately to determine whether that privilege should be waived.
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