Politics - News Analysis
Trump Trying to Block ‘Potentially Millions’ of Documents from January 6th Investigation
As this site has said for years, Trump cannot survive without secrecy. For decades, Trump has been fanatical about having employees, wives, and – apparently even mistresses, sign NDAs. Trump was the first president to even try to have White House staff sign NDAs.
One might say that his presidency was largely defined by keeping his secrets, secret. Many believe that his secret business issues kept our foreign policy hostage, perhaps it even guided domestic policy, beyond the normal grift. Now, according to Politico, Trump is seeking to block the release of all documents subpoenaed by the committee investigating January 6th. According to Politico:
Trump has 30 days to challenge the decision in court, after which time, the National Archives will release the documents to the Jan. 6 panel. The former president is already asserting privilege over 45 specific documents requested from the committee, and indicated in a letter that he wants to bar the release of additional documents “potentially numbering in the millions.”
Trump likely fears that the release of the specific documents will lead to the obvious need for more documents, which could lead to more, and more, and the wall of secrecy comes tumbling down.
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The committee is not the least bit impressed by this particular wall. From Politico:
In a statement from Jan. 6 Committee Chair BENNIE THOMPSON (D-Miss.) and Vice-Chair LIZ CHENEY (R-Wyo.), the panel said it “will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral.” If they’re serious, a criminal referral would require a full floor vote in the House.
And this makes all the difference. In the Trump administration, the House could refer anyone and everyone who ignored a subpoena to DOJ for prosecution. Now that Merrick Garland is A.G., referrals from Congress will at least be prosecuted. Of course, criminal contempt will involve claims of executive privilege, but one would still rather not go through the process.
It is possible that with respect to someone like Mark Meadows, former chief of staff, is worried as much about his potential criminal liability as he is in protecting Trump. At that point, perhaps deals get made. Perhaps not, Trump runs in a tough crowd.
Answers will be coming soon.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak