US President Joe Biden has blocked former US President Donald Trump from withholding documents that are related to the US Capitol riots that occurred back in January.
According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Biden authorised the National Archives to turn over a batch of documents that was requested by a House of Representatives select committee investigating the January 6th riots.
Psaki told reporters, “The president has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives.”
Back in August, the select committee that was investigating the riot requested various records which included communication within the White House under Trump, his movements and communications on that day and information in relation to planning and funding for rallies held in Washington.
Trump’s legal team had invoked an executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some communications between White House officials.
Describing the circumstances as “unique and extraordinary”, White House counsel Dana Remus said the documents “shed light on events within the White House on and about January 6 and bear on the Select Committee’s need to understand the facts underlying the most serious attack on the operations of the Federal Government since the Civil War”.
Trump, who plans to sue to prevent the release of the documents if necessary, has repeatedly downplayed the riots that occurred at the US Capitol while describing the rioters as “patriots”.
Trump responded with a letter to the National Archives that formally claimed executive privilege over approximately 50 documents requested by the select committee.
The letter stated, “In cases like this, where Congress has declined to grant sufficient time to conduct a full review, there is a longstanding bipartisan tradition of protective assertions of executive privilege designed to ensure the ability to make a final privilege assertion, if necessary, over some or all of the requested material.”
While adding that “Radical Left Democrats” were using Congress to persecute their political opponents, Trump stated, “It’s another grand distraction, because Biden and the Democrats don’t want you to see how badly America is losing due to their incompetence.”
IMAGE – “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/”Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0