Trump says executive privilege may prevent Jan 6 committee from seizing phone records – but veteran FBI disagrees – .

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Trump says executive privilege may prevent Jan 6 committee from seizing phone records – but veteran FBI disagrees – .


Donald Trump lashed out at the January 6 select committee’s request that federal agencies hand over phone records for family members and other close associates from the days leading up to the Capitol uprising.
Among those targeted by the requests are the former president himself; Mike Pence; former personal attorney for Mr. Trump, Rudy Giuliani; and members of his family, including his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and sons Eric and Donald Jr.

In an angry statement released through his fundraising organization “Save America,” the then president lashed out at “the left-wing“ select committee ”, which he said“ s ‘is more exposed as a partisan sham and a waste of taxpayer money with a timed claim. to distract Americans from the historic and global disasters brought on by the failures of Joe Biden and the Democrats. “

Mr Trump also claimed that the committee’s request violated “executive privilege,” which he repeatedly cited in his efforts to prevent Congress and law enforcement from questioning former staff and members of the Trump family.

“Unfortunately, this partisan exercise comes at the expense of long-standing legal principles of privilege. Executive privilege will be upheld, not only on behalf of my administration and the Patriots who have worked alongside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our nation. These Democrats have only one tired ride – political theater – and their latest request only reinforces that pathetic reality. “

In addition to the phone records, the committee requested all White House call logs as of January 6. Accounts differ as to exactly what Mr. Trump did and said while on Capitol Hill was underway, and any calls he may have made or received from some members of Congress are particularly critical to the investigation.

The White House’s communications with law enforcement and the Defense Department are also at issue, as the committee also focuses on the slowness in deploying reinforcements to help overwhelmed police secure the Capitol.

Whether executive privilege applies in this case is not entirely straightforward, but the principle seems unlikely to protect Mr. Trump from investigation at all levels. Speaking on CNN, former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe said the scale of the committee’s request meant any attempt to block it by citing executive privilege would indeed be a daunting task.

“Every agency, every entity, the National Archives will not be able to reject requests en masse just because the president could launch some kind of legal challenge. You know, the National Archives – we have laws and regulations in this country that require the National Archives to keep these kinds of records for exactly that purpose. So we can end up arguing around the edges, especially around some specific White House news, but there’s a lot that other agencies have to offer here, and I think … we’ll probably have more success at get information from DHS, FBI and DOJ.

Whether Mr. Trump will actually try to fight the demands on the basis of executive privilege remains to be seen, but his attempts to block investigations into his personal and official affairs have recently failed. While the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg were indicted in New York for an alleged tax evasion scheme dating back years, the former president also suffered a heavy blow when the Justice Department ruled that the Treasury should turn over his tax records to Congress pursuant to a subpoena.

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