President Biden has shot down Donald Trump’s claim of executive privilege over White House visitor logs from January 6, a critical win for the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol.
“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, as to these records and portions of records,” White House counsel Dana Remus wrote in a letter addressed to the National Archives. “The records in question are entries in visitor logs showing appointment information for individuals who were processed to enter the White House complex, including on January 6, 2021.”
The National Archives now has 15 days to turn over the documents, which could potentially fill in the gaps of who Trump may have spoken to as the attack unfolded.
Biden’s decision on Tuesday, the latest blow to Trump’s efforts to stall the committee from obtaining the visitor logs, comes amid renewed allegations that the former president routinely violated presidential record-keeping rules, by either improperly storing documents in boxes at Mar-a-Lago or flushing papers down the toilet. (Trump has denied clogging the White House toilet.)
Trump has long held a broad and rather loose approach to executive privilege, invoking the power throughout his impeachment proceedings in order to routinely block testimony from members of his administration. Which all begs the question of what exactly Trump is so frequently hoping to hide from the public.