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Biden White House waives executive privilege for more Trump records

President Biden has declined to assert executive privilege over another tranche of documents from former president Donald Trump that are sought by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
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President Biden has authorized the National Archives and Records Administration to hand over a new tranche of Trump White House documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

In a letter released Wednesday by the archives, Biden declined to assert executive privilege over the records — the latest batch sought by the committee after the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s bid to block such releases.

The new letter is in line with the Biden administration’s decision to err on the side of disclosure, given the gravity of the events in the Jan. 6 attack. The archives has already turned over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee.

“As to the remaining prioritized records, President Biden has considered the former President’s claims, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice,” White House counsel Dana Remus writes. “The President has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified.”

In a letter transmitting notice of the White House’s decision to Trump, Archivist David Ferriero writes that the archives will deliver the records to the committee April 28.

It’s unclear what documents exactly will be included in the latest batch, but Trump previously — and unsuccessfully — asserted privilege over daily presidential diaries, schedules, drafts of speeches, remarks and correspondence concerning the events of Jan. 6 as well as the files of his top advisers and lawyers, and talking points on the issue of overturning the results of the 2020 election, according to a review of court documents.

The committee has also re-upped requests made by other House committees for all documents and communication relating to calendars, schedules, and meetings or events attended by Trump, and all video communications recorded of Trump speaking on Jan. 6, including videos that have not been made public.

The Washington Post reported this year that some of the records sent to the committee from the archives arrived ripped up and then taped back together. The Presidential Records Act requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties, though Trump’s shredding practices continued well into the latter stages of his presidency.

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