January 26, 2022

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January 6 committee postpones request for some records from Trump White House

2 min read

While the exact nature of these records remains unclear, the committee’s move to “defer” the request following discussions with President Joe Biden’s White House suggests the committee may be paring back the number of documents it’s pursuing because of a potentially lengthy court battle Trump has already launched over executive privilege.

The development comes as the House committee tries to get access to extensive documents from the Trump presidency, and former President Donald Trump tries to muster enough legal leverage to damper its pursuits.
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Still, the National Archives announced late Wednesday it planned to turn over more than 700 pages to Congress at the end of November, in addition to another few dozen records it would hand over in mid-November, stacking short deadlines for Trump.

The Archives said the former President would need a court order to prevent it from turning over those and other records it’s processed from the Trump era. A court hearing is set for next week.

Trump previously sought to assert privilege on more than 40 documents held by the Archives and sued to attempt to block the House from accessing them. Since then, the National Archives has processed a second and third batch of records from the Trump presidency. Trump has objected to the release of many of those documents, too.
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The Biden White House said earlier this month that it would not intervene to block access to any of the records so far. The National Archives also previously found that the records were relevant to the committee’s investigation.

The committee is making clear that it has not withdrawn its request entirely and could seek the records at a later date.

“The Select Committee has agreed to defer action on certain records as part of the accommodations process. The Select Committee has not withdrawn its request for those records and will continue to engage with the executive branch to ensure we get access to all the information relevant to our probe,” committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey told CNN Wednesday.

The deferral was first reported by Politico. It also was mentioned in an October 25 letter to the National Archives and Records Administration from the White House counsel’s office.

This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.

2021-10-27 19:00:20

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