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Tag: executive privilege

Biden Authorizes Release Of 23,000 Trump Emails To Select Committee

The National Archives and Records Administration will hand over the eighth batch of Trump Administration documents to the House panel investigating the Capitol attack after President Biden declined to assert executive privilege over the release.

In a letter dated May 10 but released by the National Archives on Wednesday, the White House waived executive privilege for the emails and other records sought by the House Select Committee, dealing another blow to former President Trump, whose attempt to block such disclosures was upended by the Supreme Court.

In April, the Biden Administration stated that blocking such releases is “not in the best interests of the United States,” given the gravity of the violence that marred January 6, 2020, resulting in hospitalizations and death.

The National Archives is poised to hand 23,000 emails and other records to the select committee, which has already obtained hundreds of pages of Trump White House records, according to Forbes.

The National Archives removed some records from the batch set for release because they weren’t relevant to the select committee’s requests, White House Counsel Dana Remus said in a letter, according to the Washington Post. In addition, some requested materials were set aside because they hadn’t been reviewed yet.

“As to the remaining prioritized records, President Biden has considered the former president’s claims, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. 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,” Remus wrote, reaffirming the position the Biden Administration took in April’s National Archives release.

The National Archives will hand over some documents immediately, according to CNN, and the others, including those sidelined for review, will be sent to the select committee on May 26, writes Acting Archivist Debra Sted Wall, notifying Trump of the White House’s decision.

Although it isn’t immediately clear what documents the latest trove will contain, Trump has repeatedly asserted executive privilege — a President of the United States’ prerogative to shield confidential communications from even the judicial and legislative branches under certain circumstances — in an attempt to block the National Archives from turning crucial records over to the select committee.

If Trump doesn’t get a court to stall the handoff, the select committee will receive the records in time for its public hearings slated for June. However, the former president has not challenged the Archives’ disclosures in court since his stinging loss at the Supreme Court.

However, several Trump allies have refused to cooperate with the select committee, which Trump has accused of being politically motivated despite its bipartisan membership.

The Justice Department charged disgraced former Trump adviser Steve Bannon with contempt of Congress in November, a charge carrying a sentence of up to a year behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000. Last month, the House held two more Trump allies — Peter Navarro, ex-Trump Administration trade adviser, and Daniel Scavino Jr., former Trump White House deputy chief of staff for communications — in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with lawful congressional subpoenas.

Appeals Panel Tosses Trump Bid To Shield Documents; Supreme Court Next

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has just declined Donald Trump’s request to shield documents from his time in the White House from the bipartisan House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

MSNBC’s Pete Williams reports the court said the former president had provide “no basis” for his request, and added that the court specifically stated the current President, Joe Biden, had dutifully considered Trump’s request and was warranted to decline it.

The D.C Appeals Court has placed a two-week stay on its ruling to give Trump time to elevate the case to the Supreme Court.

January 6 Committee Will Hold Bannon In Criminal Contempt

The Congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol announced on Thursday that it would move to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

The House select committee sent subpoenas to Bannon and three of former President Donald Trump's other close allies on September 23.

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As Trump Ranted On Twitter, Hicks Stonewalled Judiciary Committee

Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks sat for an interview with the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday — and Trump was completely undone by it.

As Hicks met behind closed doors to answer questions from House Judiciary Committee members about her comments to now-former special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump took to his favorite social media site to blast the Mueller report and Democrats’ continued hearings dissecting the report’s findings.

“The Dems are very unhappy with the Mueller Report, so after almost 3 years, they want a Redo, or Do Over,” Trump whined on Twitter. “This is extreme Presidential Harassment. They gave Crooked Hillary’s people complete Immunity, yet now they bring back Hope Hicks.”

Trump went on to bring up ridiculous conspiracy theories about his former foe Hillary Clinton — who still lives rent-free in his head — and ask why Democrats aren’t investigating his fever dream conspiracies about Clinton instead.

“Why aren’t the Dems looking at the 33,000 Emails that Hillary and her lawyer deleted and acid washed AFTER GETTING A SUBPOENA FROM CONGRESS?” Trump shouted in caps lock, the way your crazy relatives do on social media platforms. “That is real Obstruction that the Dems want no part of because their hearings are RIGGED and a disgrace to our Country!”

Then Trump placed his finger firmly on the shift key.

“DEMOCRAT CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ARE #RIGGED!” Trump tweeted.

But House Democrats are doing exactly what Mueller intended by examining the findings of his report in an effort to determine whether any punishments for Trump are warranted.

And Hicks is a central figure in the report, with her name appearing 184 times, according to Politico‘s Kyle Cheney.

Hicks appears in the report so many times because she was a central witness to some of the efforts Trump made to obstruct Mueller’s investigation — which Mueller detailed in his report.

Trump’s childish freakout over Hicks’ testimony on Wednesday likely isn’t even warranted.

As Hicks sat behind closed doors answering questions, Democrats on the committee emerged from the room to call the interview a “farce,” as White House lawyers were preventing Hicks from answering even basic questions, such as whether she told the truth to Mueller’s investigators, Cheney reported.

“We’re watching obstruction of justice in action,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) told Cheney after emerging from the interview room, adding that the White House is “making crap up” to prevent Hicks from answering questions.

Democrats are merely doing their Constitutional duty in looking into the conclusions from Mueller’s report to determine whether any further action, such as impeachment, is necessary.

Finally, Trump claimed that if Mueller’s investigation hadn’t been going on, he would be “winning by 20 points” but then said he’s “winning anyway!”

Of course, that’s demonstrably false. Poll after poll shows Trump’s approval ratings are in the toilet, and that if the election were held now he’d lose to almost every top Democratic presidential hopeful.

But Trump is blocking those efforts at every turn, and then screaming about it in a juvenile manner whenever he can.

Does that sound like something someone who claims to have been “exonerated” would do?

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.