Psaki throws insurrection dig at Trump as she pushes back reporter questions on executive privilege

Mr Biden ‘has no intention to lead an insurrection on our nation’s Capitol’

Andrew Feinberg
Friday 15 October 2021 16:50
211015 Jen Psaki Insurrection
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden is not worried that the precedent set by his decision to release Trump-era records to the House committee investigating the 6 January Capitol insurrection could be weaponised against him by a future Republican administration.

Asked on Wednesday whether Mr Biden harbours “any concern or conversation about what might happen one day when the shoe is on the other foot … if another administration of the other party comes in … and they want to hand over documents that were deemed privileged by the Biden administration,” Ms Psaki replied that Mr Biden “has no intention to lead an insurrection on our nation’s Capitol”.

“I think it is ultimately important for people to understand and remember that January 6th was an incredibly dark day — one of the darkest days in our democracy,” she continued. “There was an insurrection on our nation’s Capitol — what we’re talking about here is getting to the bottom of that.”

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol has requested numerous documents — including internal White House emails, telephone logs, and other records — which were created in the days leading up to and on the day of the attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters who sought to prevent Congress from certifying Mr Biden’s electoral college victory.

Although such records would normally be subject to claims of executive privilege — a legal doctrine that protects internal deliberations between a president and his advisers — Mr Biden has thus far declined to invoke the privilege (despite the objections of former President Donald Trump) because of what White House Counsel Dana Remus called the “unique and extraordinary circumstances” presented by the worst attack on America’s legislature since Major General Robert Ross led the British Army’s burning of Washington in 1814.

In a letter sent last week to Archivist of the United States David Ferriero — the official custodian of past administrations’ records — Ms Remus wrote that Mr Biden had “determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States” because the committee “is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President’s constitutional responsibilities.”

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