The House Jan. 6 select committee has delayed its request to President Joe Biden’s team for about 50 pages worth of Trump-era White House documents that the National Archivist has already approved for the panel to obtain.
The committee told Politico that it wants to avoid wasting time on potentially having to negotiate over documents that could actually be protected by executive privilege, as ex-president Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed.
One of the members of the panel, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), told Politico that “we’re in a hurry.”
“We don’t want to get hung up,” she said.
Fellow committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (R-MD) told Politico that the temporary pause was merely “a process of give and take” in the panel’s discussions with Biden’s team on releasing the documents.
The committee is “not acknowledging privilege in any of these cases,” especially because Biden has not asserted executive privilege, Raskin said.
He added: “We don’t think that trying to overthrow the U.S. government is something that triggers executive privilege. It’s hard to see that as part of the official duties of a president.”
It’s unclear if the Biden White House had recommended the pause or if the committee made the decision alone.
The President has shot down Trump’s requests to invoke executive privilege over records in the panel’s investigation several times already, leading the former president to file a lawsuit against the committee and the National Archives.