The commission of inquiry is actually supposed to clarify the background to the Capitol storm in January. Instead, he’ll have to grapple with executive privilege. Ex-US President Trump does not want files from his term of office to be published – his successor is against it.
In the dispute over the investigation into the Capitol attack on January 6, a duel between US President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump is emerging. The White House announced Friday that Biden would not block certain documents from the National Archives from being passed to the Congress committee. “The documents are White House records from the Trump era,” said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. Trump absolutely wants to prevent this – and insists on the so-called executive privilege. This is the president’s prerogative to withhold certain information from Congress or the courts.
Supporters of Trump stormed the seat of the US Congress in Washington on January 6th. Five people were killed, including a police officer. Trump had to face impeachment proceedings because of the attack because he had previously incited his supporters in a speech. At the end of the trial, however, the Republican was acquitted. The committee in the US House of Representatives is to investigate the background to the attack on the Capitol.
The establishment of the investigative body has already been the subject of fierce partisan clashes between Democrats and Republicans. Spokeswoman Psaki said Democrat Biden’s government was cooperating with the committee. The committee had requested documents to investigate the Capitol attack from the National Archives.
“Are of the opinion that it is nothing political”
There is a procedure in which the former president has a deadline to exercise executive privilege, said Psaki. The current president then has a deadline to consider this application. For a first set of documents, Biden had come to the conclusion that confidentiality could not be invoked. “We believe that there is nothing political about ensuring that the events of January 6th do not happen again,” said Psaki. You will now make new decisions every time you ask for relevant documents.
Trump reacted angrily and accused the Democrats of using Congress to persecute political opponents. These wanted to silence his movement. He won’t be intimidated. There had previously been reports that Trump was trying to prevent former confidants from giving a testimony to the congressional committee investigating the storm on the US Capitol. In a letter that was available to the Politico portal and the Washington Post, among others, a Trump lawyer urged the men not to cooperate with the committee.
The committee had summoned former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, then Chief of Staff of the White House, Mark Meadows, Trump’s social media chief Dan Scavino and a former Defense Department official for mid-October. Certain documents were also requested from the four men. The letter from Trump’s attorney also stated that these documents would come under executive privilege. Trump is ready to defend this right in court.
Ex-Trump advisors are cooperative
The congressional committee announced on Friday that the former Trump strategist Bannon had indicated that he wanted to hide behind “vague references to privileges of the former president”. The “New York Times” previously reported, citing a letter from Bannon’s lawyer, that Bannon’s lawyer would not transmit any documents or make any statements as long as open questions were not clarified. In the letter, the lawyer also invoked the executive privilege claimed by Trump.
Bannon is one of the most influential voices in the ultra-conservative camp of US politics. The co-founder of the arch-conservative Internet platform “Breitbart” joined the Trump team before the 2016 election campaign phase and then took over the leadership of the election campaign. After Trump moved into the White House, Bannon became Trump’s chief strategist, his influence has been described as tremendous. In the summer of 2017, Bannon had to take his hat off under pressure from Trump.
Ex-Chief of Staff Meadows and former Defense Department official Kash Patel, however, would work with the committee, said chairman Bennie G. Thompson. At the same time, he threatened anyone who resisted a subpoena with criminal charges for disregarding Congress. The committee recently summoned several organizers of rallies on January 6th. “The committee of inquiry expects all of these witnesses to comply with our demands for documents and testimony,” it said. He would not be deterred by those who tried to obstruct the investigation.