Biden White House waives executive privilege for initial set of Trump-era documents sought by Jan. 6 panel

Remus stated that the determination regarding the documents was only applicable to records given to the White House on September 8. He wrote: We continue reviewing materials provided to us after that date. We will respond as appropriate.
Experts have informed POLITICO that Trump has a minimum of 30 days to appeal the decision before the National Archives release them to the Jan. 6, panel. This is similar to a decision Biden made earlier this year with his DOJ to waive privilege to allow former Trump DOJ officials testify before congressional panels about the former president's attempts to reverse the 2020 election.

Trump wrote to Ferriero on Friday, claiming that the records requested by the committee would include information protected by executive and other privileges. This includes but not limited to presidential communications, the deliberative process and attorney-client privileges.

Trump stated that he would like to claim privilege over 45 documents identified by National Archives as being responsive to the committees' request. Trump stated in the two-page letter that those documents included presidential communications and deliberative process materials as well as attorney-client privilege materials.

Trump indicated that he would like to declare any future requests from the panel, which could be in the millions, as being preemptively barred from release.

Trump stated that if the committee continues to seek other privileged information, he would take all appropriate and necessary steps to defend the Office of the Presidency.

The White House's statement follows the House Select Panel investigating the attack that announced that Kash Patel and Mark Meadows, former White House chief staff officer, were close allies to former President Donald Trump. They had subpoenaed the Pentagon aide Kash Patel.

Panel Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is the panel chair. In a statement, the Trump associates confirmed that they had been in touch. Thompson and Cheney threatened criminal contempt against former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon. He had previously told the committee that he would not cooperate with their inquiry into Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Although the Select Committee is open to good-faith cooperation with witnesses who are seeking to cooperate in our investigation, we won't allow any witness defy a subpoena nor attempt to run out of time and we will quickly consider advancing a criminal Contempt of Congress referral," Thompson said and Cheney added.

Robert Costello, a lawyer for Bannon told the committee that Bannon would not comply with Trump's claim that he could invoke executive privilege to stop Bannon's testimony.

Costello sent a Jan. 6 letter to Costello stating that until these issues are resolved we cannot respond to your request to see documents or testimony. Costello's letter was first published by The New York Times. POLITICO reported Thursday that Trump instructed Bannon and his former aides to not comply with the demands of lawmakers.

Bannon's lawyer makes a questionable claim, as the ex-Trump aide had been years away from the White House when the former presidents attempted to overturn the 2020 elections. The subpoena was initiated in earnest. Executive privilege is usually reserved for presidents closest advisors. It is not intended to provide a shield from testimony requests.

The Jan. 6 committee would have to first vote on a resolution to criminal contempt before it could hold a witness. The House would then vote on the resolution.

Four Trump supporters aides were subpoenaed by the select panel investigating the insurrection. They were Mark Meadows, the former White House chief-of-staff, Dan Scavino (longtime Trump advisor), Kash Patel, and Bannon. The panel requested that all four of them provide documentation by Thursday. They will also be deposed next week.

Meadows' lawyer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the subpoena deadline.

Patel stated in a statement that he will continue to tell Americans the truth about January 6th, and that he is putting America and freedoms first through his Fight with Kash initiative.

Two sources who are familiar with the matter say Scavino received his subpoena on Friday. According to one source, Scavino was served in New York. This was not the first attempt at service, since Scavino was out in public ever since the subpoenas were effected.

The Jan. 6th committee did not comment on Scavino's status. He was not mentioned by Thompson or Cheney in their statement.

The committee could request criminal contempt referrals if any of the four parties fail to comply. This would require the House's full vote when it resumes session later in the month. If the move is taken, it would send the matter to review at the Justice Department. Although it is not clear if DOJ will act swiftly on potential referrals, members of the Jan.6 panel expressed hope that the Biden administration would do so.

Sources close to the committee say that next week's deadline to depose former Trump aides will be more important, as the foursome still have time to comply. The committee could consider a referral and vote to send to the full House if they don't appear in the next weeks.

Thompson indicated that he would like to conclude the investigation by spring. If the bipartisan nine-member panel wishes to adhere to it, this timeframe does not allow for lengthy legal battles over subpoena enforcement or litigation against recalcitrant witness.

This report was contributed by Heather Caygle, Natasha Korecki