We Now Know Which Files Trump Is Trying to Hide From the January 6 Committee

Peter Wade / Rolling Stone
We Now Know Which Files Trump Is Trying to Hide From the January 6 Committee Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images)

A new court filing reveals Trump wants to hide his daily presidential diaries, schedules, activity and call logs, draft speeches and files from top White House staffers related to the Capitol insurrection

Overnight a court filing from the National Archives revealed which documents former President Donald Trump is trying to hide from the Jan. 6 select committee, including his daily presidential diaries, schedules, activity and call logs, draft speeches, as well as files from top White House staffers.

“These records all relate to the events on or about Jan. 6, and may assist the Select Committee’s investigation into that day, including what was occurring at the White House immediately before, during and after the Jan. 6 attack,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in the court filing submitted late Friday night on behalf of the National Archives.

Trump has been trying to block the committee from obtaining 750 pages of documents out of almost 1,600 that have been identified as relevant to the investigation. The documents that Trump wants to keep hidden include:

  • Thirty pages of “daily presidential diaries, schedules, appointment information showing visitors to the White House, activity logs, call logs and switchboard shift-change checklists showing calls to the president and vice-president, all specifically for or encompassing [Jan. 6]”

  • Thirteen pages of “drafts of speeches, remarks, and correspondence concerning the events of [Jan. 6]”

  • “Three handwritten notes concerning the events of [Jan. 6] from [former White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows’ files … listing potential or scheduled briefings and telephone calls concerning the [Jan. 6] certification and other election issues”

  • Binders of talking points from former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany “principally relating to allegations of voter fraud, election security, and other topics concerning the 2020 election”

  • “Draft text of a presidential speech for the [Jan. 6] Save America March”

  • “A handwritten list of potential or scheduled briefings and telephone calls concerning election issues”

  • “A draft Executive Order concerning election integrity”

  • “A draft proclamation honoring deceased Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood”

  • “Associated e-mails from the Office of the Executive Clerk, which relate to the select committee’s interest in the White House’s response to the Capitol attack”

The filing states that the National Archives searched first for relevant documents in paper records because it wasn’t until August that they received electronic records from the Trump White House. There are another outstanding “several hundred thousand potentially responsive records” that may also be relevant to the investigation that they are still working their way through.

Trump has sued to block the release of these documents by claiming executive privilege, and this court filing is in response to that suit. Biden officially rejected Trump’s executive privilege request to keep the documents secret earlier this month.

Even more news in the Jan. 6 saga broke Friday night when it was revealed that during the attack on the Capitol, Trump’s lawyer, John Eastman, emailed an aide to former Vice President Mike Pence to blame Pence for the violence that was unfolding, The Washington Post reported.

“The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this [election challenge] to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened,” Eastman wrote to Pence aide, Greg Jacob, who quoted the Trump attorney’s email in an unpublished op-ed obtained by The Post.

Eastman also emailed Jacob after Congress reconvened following the riot to tell him that Pence should not certify the election results because he violated a technicality in the Electoral College Act related to how much time lawmakers could use for speeches. Pence had cited the act as justification for not sending electors back to their states.

“My point was they had already violated the electoral count act by allowing debate to extend past the allotted two hours, and by not reconvening ‘immediately’ in joint session after the vote in the objection,” Eastman told The Post. “It seemed that had already set the precedent that it was not an impediment.”

According to a separate report from The Post this past Tuesday, the select committee is planning to subpoena Eastman unless he voluntarily cooperates with their investigation.

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