White House to Release Trump Information to Congressional Investigators
“As President Biden said, the events of January 6 were a dark stain on the history of our country, and they represented an attack on the foundations of our constitution and our democracy in a way that few other events have, ”White House spokesman Michael Gwin said. in a statement to CNN.
“The President is deeply committed to ensuring that such a thing never happens again and he supports a full investigation into what happened,” Gwin said. “This is why his administration has engaged with Congress on matters relating to January 6 for several months now and will continue to do so, including with the select committee.”
The White House Biden is inclined to limit the extent to which it claims executive privilege in this investigation, according to sources familiar with administration thinking. Such a position allows House investigators access to a wealth of documents and to seek testimony from senior White House officials from the previous administration.
But any White House decision Biden could still face legal challenges from Trump and members of his administration whose testimony is likely to be sought, possibly delaying any access by investigators. Biden has the final say on whether to waive executive privilege, but in many ways, this is new legal territory.
That’s a thorny question because the decision could set a new precedent for future presidents and their administrations – potentially giving a future GOP-controlled Congress access to documents from a Democratic-led executive branch.
A first indication of the Biden administration’s thinking has emerged in recent months in letters allowing former Trump officials to testify before other congressional committees investigating the January 6 attack.
“The extraordinary events in this case constitute exceptional circumstances justifying an accommodation for Congress,” administration lawyers wrote in a letter in July to former Justice Department officials.
Several former Trump Justice officials gave talks in Congress about their communications with the former president in the weeks leading up to January 6, breaking with the general practice of protecting those internal deliberations.
Letters to former justice officials read in part: “President Biden has decided that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege with respect to communications with former President Trump and his advisers and staff Linked to the former President’s post-election efforts to overturn the election results.