National Archives Gives Trump White House Records to Jan. 6 Committee

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
January 22, 2022Updated: January 22, 2022

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has handed records from the Trump administration’s time in office to the House of Representatives panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.

The archives “provided the Select Committee with all the records at issue in the litigation,” a NARA spokesperson told news outlets on Friday.

A spokesperson for the panel didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The first documents reached the panel the same day the Supreme Court rejected former President Donald Trump’s attempt to block the National Archives from giving the committee the records.

“Our work goes forward to uncover all the facts about the violence of January 6th and its causes. We will not be deterred in our effort to get answers, make legislative recommendations to strengthen our democracy, and help ensure nothing like that day ever happens again,” the panel said in a recent statement.

Justices upheld lower court rulings that found Trump and his lawyers had “provided no basis” for overriding the judgment of President Joe Biden, who waived executive privilege for the records the Democrat-dominated panel sought.

Ordinarily, the records would be kept confidential for years after a president’s departure from office “in order to encourage full and frank advice to current and future Presidents,” lawyers representing NARA said in a previous filing.

Because of Biden’s action, the archives had urged the court not to block the transfer of the files to the panel, which is investigating the “facts, circumstances, and causes” of the Capitol breach.

The panel’s request to NARA asked for records related to the events and aftermath of Jan. 6, strategies by the White House to impede the counting of electoral votes, information on planning for rallies before and on Jan. 6, information that Trump received before and after the breach concerning the outcome of the 2020 election, and options considered concerning the certification of the electoral vote and the transfer of power, which ultimately took place on Jan. 20.

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Then-President Donald Trump speaks at the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Jenny Jing/The Epoch Times)

The initial set of records identified by NARA workers responding to the request included daily presidential diaries, call logs, drafts of speeches, and handwritten notes.

Democrats said this week that reviewing the documents would play a crucial part in understanding the events leading up to Jan. 6.

“Those are important because we’re trying to piece together what the president was doing in the 187 minutes when he may have been in the study off of the Oval [Office], watching the attack on the Capitol, and what his demeanor was like. Why didn’t he go into the press room and call off these individuals? Why didn’t he tell them not to do this? Those are some questions that we have,” Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a member of the panel, said on CNN.

Trump told people in a speech about two miles from the Capitol shortly before the building was breached that they should march to the building and peacefully make their voices heard.

Trump put out multiple posts on Twitter while the Capitol was being breached, including one saying Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage” to reject some electoral votes.

Pence had announced in the morning he didn’t think he had the authority to do that.

Several hours after the breach, Trump spoke out, urging people to head home and reiterating his call for peace.

The House impeached Trump for allegedly inciting the Capitol attack but the Senate acquitted him after he left office.