White House rejects more Trump claims of executive privilege

·2 min read

President Biden is once again refusing to exert executive privilege over a tranche of documents former President Trump is trying to keep away from a special congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Trump has already filed a lawsuit to block the release of other documents sought by the House select committee to Investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol, a panel that has already held former Trump associate Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for defying a subpoena to appear. The committee hasn't ruled out subpoenaing the former president as part of its ongoing probe.

In a letter sent Monday to National Archivist David Ferriero, who is also being sued by Mr. Trump, White House counsel Dana Remus wrote the president has no plans to exert executive privilege over other Trump documents sought by the committee, keeping consistent with his earlier stance first made public earlier this month.

"President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to the documents provided to the White House on September 16, 2021, and September 23, 2021," Remus wrote. "Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former president's assertion of privilege."

President Joe Biden speaks to the media on the passing of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, as he leaves the State and National Teachers of the Year awards ceremony at the White House on October 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.  / Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images
President Joe Biden speaks to the media on the passing of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, as he leaves the State and National Teachers of the Year awards ceremony at the White House on October 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. / Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

The news of the letter was first reported by CNN.

A lawyer for Bannon said in a letter obtained by CBS News that he was not acting in "defiance" of the subpoena and pointed to instructions from Mr. Trump's attorney. "President Trump's counsel stated that they were invoking executive and other privileges and therefore directed us not to produce documents or give testimony that might reveal information President Trump's counsel seeks to legally protect," Bannon's lawyer said.

In addition to Bannon, the committee has subpoenaed the organizers of the Stop the Steal rally that occurred before Mr. Trump's supporters descended on the Capitol, as well as former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, Pentagon chief of staff Kashyap Patel, Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and communications director Dan Scavino.

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