Dec. 28 (UPI) — The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will defer requests for certain White House records after the Biden administration requested they remain protected.
President Joe Biden‘s White House has mostly declined to use executive privilege to block the release of documents from former President Donald Trump‘s administration but White House deputy council Jonathan Su wrote in a letter that certain documents requested do not apply to the investigation and should remain protected.
“President Biden recognizes that Congress has a compelling need, in service of its legislative functions, to understand the circumstances that led to the insurrection that took place on January 6, and the extraordinary events surrounding it, in order to ensure nothing similar ever happens again,” Su wrote.
“The documents for which the Select Committee has agreed to withdraw or defer its request do not appear to bear on the White House’s preparations for or response to the events of January 6, or on efforts to overturn the election or otherwise obstruct the peaceful transfer of power.”
The special counsel’s office said many of the documents the committee agreed to defer its request on either did not pertain to the insurrection or involve deliberations by the National Security Council, potentially setting a precedent that could compromise presidential decision-making.
In a statement Tuesday the House committee clarified that it has not dropped the requests for the records.
“The Select Committee welcomes President Biden’s decision to clear the way for the production of another set of records,” a committee representative said. “The committee has agreed to defer action on certain records as part of the accommodations process, as was the case with an earlier tranche of records. The Select Committee has not withdrawn its request for these records and will continue to engage with the executive branch to ensure the committee gets access to all the information relevant to our probe.”
The White House has still agreed to release more than 700 pages of Trump-era records including phone call logs, visitor logs, drafts of speeches, memos and handwritten notes during and leading up to the events of Jan. 6.
Last week, Trump asked the Supreme Court to block the release of his White House’s records to the committee saying his legal challenge posed “novel and important questions of law that the court should resolve.”