The White House urges the January 6 release of documents as Trump rejects the committee

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The battle over the White House record of former President Donald Trump’s activities in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol building intensified on Wednesday when President Joe Biden formally denied Trump’s claims that the documents were prior to release to the House of Representatives special committee investigating the insurrection should be protected.

In a letter to the National Archives, the White House attorney’s office said President Biden “instructs” the agency to comply with the request of the House Special Committee.

“President [Biden] maintains its conclusion that asserting executive privileges is not in the best interests of the United States, “the letter said after Trump made extensive efforts last week to prevent confidants from collaborating on the investigation.

“President Biden is not upholding the former president’s claim of privilege,” the letter said on Wednesday, which also informed the agency that “the president is continuing to instruct you to provide these pages for 30 days given the urgency of the special committee’s information needs.” after your notification to the former president, without an interim court order. “

Trump issued a statement late last week saying the demands are “not based on law or reality – it’s just a game for these politicians. They don’t care about our country or the American people.” Trump went on to say the Democrats were “drunk with power”.

The move on Wednesday comes as the committee steps up its efforts to advance its investigation. Former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen testified before the committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the process.

On Tuesday, the committee issued a subpoena to former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark. A Clark attorney declined to comment when reached by ABC News.

The House Special Committee has summoned several former White House officials and aides for Trump and his campaign, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The committee said Meadows worked with the committee, although the extent of his involvement in the investigation is unclear.

Steve Bannon, former Trump White House senior advisor and former campaign chief Steve Bannon, adamantly rejects the committee. In a second letter to the committee that ABC News received, Bannon’s attorney said they were ordered by Trump’s attorney not to respond, citing the former president’s appeal to executive privileges.

“Until you reach an agreement with President Trump or receive a court ruling on the scope, scope and application of executive privilege … Mr. Bannon will not produce or testify,” Bannon’s attorney Robert Costello said in a letter to committee chairman Bennie Thompson.

Thompson and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney said last week they were “quick to consider” detaining Bannon and possibly others for disregarding Congress for ignoring committee subpoenas.

Sources confirmed to ABC News that Trump’s attorney had sent a letter to several of the summons informing them that the former president wants to ignore the summons and plans to exercise executive privilege. In the letter, Trump suggested taking the matter to court to block their cooperation.

White House attorney Dana Remus said in a previous letter to the National Archives that the White House “has concluded that exercising executive privileges is not in the best interests of the United States,” but it did Would “react accordingly” if Trump claimed executive privilege only for a subset of the documents.

The committee issued at least 18 subpoenas, most of which were sent to Trump officials and individuals connected with the Washington rallies on the day of the Capitol Riot.

ABC News’s Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 ABC News Internet Ventures.


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