Within a short period of time, perhaps a month at most, the House Select Committee will know who was in and around the White House and Trump in the time leading up to the riot until the hours afterward. President Biden denied Trump’s claim of privilege regarding the White House call logs.
This is critical information.
If a crime is committed and one has a list that puts certain suspects in close proximity during key periods, every law enforcement officer anywhere is going to want to know who else might have been there that day. With regard to January 6th, we know that Trump incited a crowd to march up to the Capitol (many readers recall that Trump actually told the crowd that he would lead them to the Capitol, but he then ducked back into the White House. There is no indication he was ever going to the Capital). We know that Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff took many damning (but perhaps not incriminating) texts from inside the White House, and we know that the actual attack upon the United States Capitol took a level of sophistication that rose above a crowd’s spontaneous combustion.
Of course, anyone wanting the truth about the White House’s role – if any – is going to want to know who came into the White House from approximately January 4th through 6th in order to see if any of those people match up with any of those identified as “significant” rioters, such as those Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy, whether financial backers were there, and whether certain members of Congress made visits. Now the Select Committee will learn the identities of all those in and around Trump, according to the New York Times:
President Biden is opposing another effort by former President Donald J. Trump to withhold information from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, ordering the National Archives to hand over White House visitor logs the committee is seeking.
In a letter to the National Archives, Mr. Biden’s White House counsel, Dana Remus, said Mr. Biden had rejected Mr. Trump’s claims that the visitor logs were subject to executive privilege and that “in light of the urgency” of the committee’s work, the agency should provide the material to the committee within 15 days.
It is frustrating to see that the order was only released today while the White House clearly knows that time is of the essence. Of course, the White House has to factor in policy questions going forward and whether there would ever come a time that the Biden White House might want to assert presidential privilege regarding visitor logs but common sense says a decision regarding that balance might have been made earlier. As it stands, this order does not automatically qualify as covered by the SCOTUS’s decision.
It is unclear whether Mr. Trump will go to court again in an attempt to block or slow the release of the visitor logs.
The White House sent the letter to David S. Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, on Tuesday, and planned to inform Mr. Trump’s lawyers on Wednesday morning. The New York Times obtained a copy of the letter.
Trump could clog up the process by taking the matter to court and one might think that he has nothing to lose by slowing everything down – a tactic he uses to his advantage whenever possible. However, having been so firmly denied at every point last time and the fact that there is no fundamental difference between these types of records and those already sought, Trump’s team might risk court sanctions in filing simply to delay the matter, or have it summarily dismissed a day or two after filing.
But there is no question, the Select Committee will soon know whether the White House had some “odd” visitors leading up to January 6th. The information could be invaluable.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
Please visit his Substack Newsletter, get the first month free: Much Ado About Everything: By Jason Miciak