President Biden “instructs” the National Archives to release the data.
The battle over White House records of former President Donald Trump’s activities related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack intensified on Wednesday when President Joe Biden formally rejected Trump’s claims that the documents should be shielded from disclosure to the selected House committee investigating the insurgency.
In a letter to the National Archives, the White House counsel’s office said President Biden is “instructing” the agency to comply with the House’s selected committee’s request for the data.
“President [Biden] maintains its conclusion that any claim of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States,” the letter reads, after Trump made a wide-ranging effort last week to prevent confidential advisers from cooperating with the probe.
“President Biden does not uphold the former president’s claim of privilege,” said Wednesday’s letter, which also told the agency that “in light of the urgency of the select committee’s need for the information, the president will further inform you.” instructs to release those pages 30 days after your notice to the former president, without going through a court order.”
Trump issued a statement late last week saying the requests are “not based on the law or reality — it’s just a game for these politicians. They don’t care about our country or the American people.” Trump went on to say that Democrats are “drunk on power”.
Wednesday’s move comes as the commission ramps up its efforts to move forward with its investigation. Former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified before the commission on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the proceedings.
On Tuesday, the commission issued a subpoena to former Associate Attorney General Jeffrey Clark. Clark’s attorney declined to comment when ABC News reached out to him.
The House Selection Committee has subpoenaed multiple former White House officials and aides for Trump and his campaign, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The committee has said Meadows has collaborated with the committee, although the extent of his participation in the investigation is unclear.
However, Steve Bannon, a former senior adviser to the Trump White House and one-time campaign manager of the campaign, is standing firm on the commission’s rejection. In a second letter to the commission, obtained by ABC News, Bannon’s attorney says they have been instructed not to respond by Trump’s counsel, citing the former president’s appeals to administrative law.
“Until you reach an agreement with President Trump or receive a court ruling on the scope, scope and application of executive privilege … Mr. Bannon will not submit any documents or testify,” Bannon’s counsel Robert Costello said. wrote in a letter to committee chair Bennie Thompson.
Thompson and Vice President Liz Cheney said last week they would “quickly consider” disparaging Bannon, and possibly others, before Congress for ignoring committee subpoenas.
Sources confirmed to ABC News that Trump’s attorney has sent a letter to several of the subpoenaed to inform them that the former president wants the subpoenas to be ignored and that he plans to claim administrative law. In the letter, Trump suggested he would be willing to take the case to court to block their cooperation.
White House attorney Dana Remus said in an earlier letter to the National Archives that the White House has “determined that invoking administrative law is not in the best interests of the United States” but that it would “respond accordingly” if Trump alleges executive privilege over only a subset of the documents.
The commission has issued at least 18 subpoenas, most of which go to Trump associates and individuals related to the Washington rallies on the day of the Capitol uprising.
Benjamin Siegel of ABC News contributed to this report.