The White House has instructed the National Archives to fully cooperate with a House select committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Former President Donald Trump tried to block the National Archives from turning over the data citing executive privilege.
"President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified as to any of the documents," White House Counsel Dana Remus wrote in the letter, according to NBC News.
"These are unique and extraordinary circumstances," the letter continued. "Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President's constitutional responsibilities. The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself."
Trump's lawyers also cited executive privilege in a letter to four witnesses, Dan Scavino, Kash Patel, Mark Meadows, and Steve Bannon, instructing them to ignore the subpoenas they received. President Biden has not made a decision whether to grant executive privilege to four men or any of the documents they were asked to turn over.
Patel and Meadows are reportedly "engaging" with the committee, while Bannon has so far refused.
According to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney, the committee is moving to file criminal contempt charges against Bannon.
"Though the Select Committee welcomes good-faith engagement with witnesses seeking to cooperate with our investigation, we will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral," Panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson and vice-chair Rep. Liz Cheney said.
It is unclear if Scavino is working with the committee.