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The National Archives Is Providing a New Batch of Data From the Trump White House to a Committee on January 6th

A new batch of records from the National Archives will be released to the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6.

President Joe Biden waived executive privilege over the documents, allowing them to be given to the committee.

In a letter to former President Donald Trump, archivist David Ferriero explained Biden’s decision. Trump has previously tried to prevent the committee from acquiring data from his administration relating to the Capitol attack by extreme pro-Trump supporters.

It was unclear what documents would be included in the batch sent to committee investigators on Thursday.

In a second letter to Ferriero, Biden’s White House counsel Dana Remus wrote, “The president has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and consequently is not justified.”

After the Supreme Court denied Trump’s plea to block them, the committee acquired hundreds of pages of records from the National Archives relevant to its Jan. 6 probe. It was allowed to analyze calendars, phone logs, emails, and other requested items connected to the attack.

Remus highlighted in his letter that Biden’s administration had “reached an understanding” with the committee to prioritize materials “relevant to specific custodians” in the most recent batch of records.

The House committee agreed to defer requests for specific records on Jan. 6 after Biden’s White House determined that many documents did not pertain to the Capitol attack or involve National Security Council deliberations, potentially setting a precedent that could jeopardize presidential decision-making.

The National Archives has also confirmed that after leaving office, Trump transported classified information from the White House to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. He tore up records required by law to be maintained during his tenure. Analysts in records management were tasked with piecing them back together with transparent tape after the shift.

The committee is looking into the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump supporters sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s electoral victory two months prior. The Capitol building was severely damaged, and numerous people were killed, including U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

The panel looks into Trump’s role in the attack, particularly his “Save America” rally the night before and his behavior in the White House after the attack began. At the gathering, Trump urged his followers to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” Others speaking during the meeting, like attorney Rudy Giuliani and Alabama Representative Mo Brooks, seemed to urge a violent intervention. “Let’s have a trial by fight!” cried Giuliani.

Last July, the committee began holding public hearings, and about 1,000 persons have been interviewed so far. Several former Trump administration employees have been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to appear in response to subpoenas.

The committee could eventually recommend that the Justice Department started an investigation into Trump, leading to criminal charges being brought against him. Trump was impeached for the second time by the House for encouraging the attack on the Capitol soon before he left office. In the Republican-controlled Senate, he was later acquitted. He is the only president to have been impeached twice in his lifetime.

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The House is looking into the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th.

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