Trump’s legal team argued in the letter, which was first reported by Politico, that records and testimony related to Jan. 6 are protected “from disclosure by the executive and other privileges, including among others the presidential communications, deliberative process, and attorney-client privileges.”
It remains to be seen whether Scavino, Bannon and Meadows, who did not respond to requests for comment, ultimately cooperate with the committee.
In a statement provided to The Post, Patel suggested that he will not cooperate with the committee, referencing his website — “Paid for by Kash Patel Legal Offense Trust” — where he’s raising $250,000 “to fund a top-notch legal team.”
“I will continue to tell the American people the truth about January 6, and I am putting our country and freedoms first through my Fight with Kash initiative,” Patel said in the statement.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the House select committee, threatened possible contempt charges for Trump’s former advisers if they do not comply with their subpoenas, saying it ultimately would be up to Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee.
“I believe this is a matter of the utmost seriousness and we need to consider the full panoply of enforcement sanctions available to us, and that means criminal contempt citations, civil contempt citations and the use of Congress’s own inherent contempt powers,” Raskin said Thursday.
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich claimed in a statement that the “outrageously broad records request … lacks both legal precedent and legislative merit.”
“Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of President Trump and his administration, but also on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our nation,” Budowich added.
The letter was a continuation of Trump’s efforts to use “executive privilege” to resist any cooperation with the House select committee investigating Jan. 6, banking on a legal theory that has successfully allowed presidents and their aides to avoid or delay congressional scrutiny for decades.
As a former president, Trump would need the Biden administration to assert executive privilege. President Biden, however, has indicated he will probably share with Congress information about Trump’s activities on Jan. 6 if asked.
For nearly a year, Trump has baselessly claimed that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, and the former president has continued to push Republican-led audits of election results and sow doubt in the integrity of elections in the country.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday issued a report detailing some of Trump’s and his allies’ earliest efforts to pressure the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election results. Among the report’s many findings was confirmation that Meadows asked then-acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen multiple times to initiate election fraud investigations, and that Meadows asked Rosen to meet with Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.
“Meadows asked Rosen to have DOJ investigate at least four categories of false election fraud claims that Trump and his allies were pushing,” the report stated, noting that the conversations violated “longstanding restrictions on White House-DOJ communications about specific law enforcement matters.”
“We were a half-step away from a constitutional crisis the likes of which this nation has never seen,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thursday on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
Also on Thursday, the House select committee issued another round of subpoenas for organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The committee is now seeking information from right-wing provocateur Ali Alexander, the leader of Stop the Steal, and Nathan Martin, who worked with Alexander and is listed as the representative for “One Nation Under God” on a permit application to rally on Capitol grounds.
Weeks before the Jan. 6 insurrection, Alexander said in a since-deleted video on Periscope that he had planned to put “maximum pressure on Congress” during the vote to certify the electoral college votes, claiming he had help from three GOP lawmakers, Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.).
In a statement posted to Telegram on Thursday, Alexander accused the House select committee of having “weaponized” the accusations against him.