Politics White House formally rejects Trump's request to protect specific documents from being given to January 6 investigators
Japan's Kishida, Biden agree to cooperate on China, N Korea
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held his first talks as Japanese leader with President Joe Biden and confirmed they will work to strengthen their alliance and cooperate in regional security in the face of growing challenges from China and North Korea. Kishida, who was elected by Parliament and sworn in Monday, told reporters that Biden reassured him of the U.S. commitment to defend the Japanese-controlled East China Sea island Senkaku, which China also claims and has escalated coast guard activity in the area.Biden provided “a strong statement about U.S. commitment for the defense of Japan, including ...
The White House formally rejected the requestto shield from lawmakers a subset of documents that has been requested by the House committee investigating January 6, and set an aggressive timeline for their release.
The latest letter came after the Biden administration informed the National Archives on Friday that it would notover a tranche of documents related to January 6 from the Trump White House. When the White House sent its first letter last week, the former President had not formally submitted his objections yet. The latest response from the White House counsel is more of a technicality in response to the request from Trump regarding the subset of documents, according to a person familiar, reaffirming the decision already made by President Joe Biden not to assert executive privilege.
Kishida vows to lead with 'trust and empathy' to fix Japan
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from White House counsel Dana Remus to Archivist of the United States David Ferriero requests that the documents be released "30 days after your notification to the former President, absent any intervening court order."
After that decision was reported,objecting to the release of certain documents to the committee on the grounds of executive privilege.
In the letter released Wednesday, Remus wrote: "President Biden has considered the former President's assertion, and I have engaged in additional consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. For the same reasons described in [sic] earlier letter, the President maintains his conclusion 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 provided to the White House on September 8, 2021."
White House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee
The White House has ordered presidential record keepers to release a trove of Trump-era documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, arguing unique circumstances compel their disclosure.White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the administration would back the committee's sweeping efforts. "As a part of this process, the president has determined an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives," Psaki said.
"Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former President's assertion of privilege."
Legal experts say Biden has the ultimate say over whether these documents are covered by executive privilege, and considering that the committee is led by members of Biden's party, Trump's power to sway the outcome is an open question.
The House select committee has launched a sweeping investigation into January 6. As part of that, the panel has sent requests for information to a number of federal agencies, including the National Archives, the custodian of the Trump administration White House records.
The committee asked for "all documents and communications within the White House" on that day, including call logs, schedules and meetings with top officials and outside advisers, including Rudy Giuliani.
To date, the former President has not been as aggressive legally in trying to assert that executive privilege as his public statements might suggest and the White House's announcement indicates he will likely have trouble preventing the initial batch of documents from being released to the committee.
Investigators: No evidence of Fulton County ballot fraud
ATLANTA (AP) — Investigators in Georgia haven't found any evidence to substantiate claims that fraudulent or counterfeit ballots were counted in Fulton County during the 2020 general election, according to a court filing. Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero is presiding over a lawsuit that alleges fraud in Fulton County during last year's election. He's weighing a request from county officials to dismiss the lawsuit. At a hearing last month, he asked for an update into any investigations by the secretary of state's office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation into allegations of fraudulent or counterfeit ballots in the state's most populous cou
That said, Trump can still attempt to protect his records by suing relevant agencies -- assuming he can pull together enough legal firepower for a pricey and complex court battle.
If Trump files a lawsuit, that could, at very least, slow down the process of handing over the documents, but the former President has only a limited amount of time to take that step, according to Deborah Pearlstein, a constitutional law professor at Cardozo Law School who's an expert on presidential powers.
"If the sitting President has said he's not going to assert privilege, then there's a certain amount of time (before) the documents then have to be released unless the former President succeeds in getting a court order, an injunction, for example, prohibiting their release," she told CNN last week. "That would require a pretty significant ruling by a federal court."
"It's not impossible but all of this is now under a ticking clock," she added, noting we could see activity "if the former President and his team are aggressive legally, sooner rather than later."
This story has been updated with additional reporting.
January 6 committee votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt .
Steve Bannon's contempt charges will now go to the full House for a vote. If it is approved there, DOJ has final say on prosecuting Bannon. Bannon's attorneys formally notified the committee of his intention to refuse investigators' requests last week, citing executive privilege. The committee then announced its plans to hold Bannon in contempt. Bannon was not a White House staffer on or before Jan. 6, having left the administration years earlier.