Archivist to release Trump White House records to Jan. 6 committee

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Archivist to release Trump White House records to Jan. 6 committee

WASHINGTON - The National Archives plans to hand over a small collection of documents from the Trump White House to the House Select Committee on Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol.

The archivist intends to release records to the committee at 6 p.m. unless there is an intervening court order, said Brian Boynton, acting assistant attorney general. The documents are four pages long, and it is not clear what information they contain.

The Biden administration notified former President Donald Trump last Friday that the archivist would release the documents on Wednesday, according to the filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The White House ordered the archivist to withhold the records for 30 days in order to allow the former president to seek an injunction if he wishes, Boynton wrote.

The release will proceed as planned, absent an intervening court order, because the former president has not obtained an injunction from any court.

Trump asked the Supreme Court to keep his White House records secret from the Jan. 6 committee last month, but the Supreme Court hasn't acted yet on that request. The Jan. 6 committee asked the high court to reject Trump's request.

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals had ordered three other batches of records that Trump had claimed executive privileges not be released pending the Supreme Court action. Boynton said Trump's attorney claimed on Tuesday that releasing these latest records would violate the order, but the appeals court made clear last month that the stay only included records from the first three tranches.

On the fourth tranche of documents, Trump was given the opportunity to request a preliminary injunction in the appeals court, but he only requested relief from the Supreme Court, Boynton said.

Trump's lawyer Jesse Binnall wrote on Wednesday that the archives misinterpreted the existing injunction, which he said does apply to documents in the fourth tranche. If the archives releases the documents, Trump will try to have it held in contempt of court, Binnall said.

The government has no obligation to seek a new injunction to prevent an act that was previously prohibited by an injunction that was already granted him. He said that it is the government's obligation to seek relief if it wants to release the documents.