WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday denied claims of executive privilege made by former Trump administration officials Peter Navarro and Michael Flynn as part of the congressional investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In letters written by Deputy White House Counsel Jonathan Su, the Biden administration rejected the shield of executive privilege claimed by Navarro and Flynn in response to recent subpoenas from the House Select Committee investigating the attack. of January 6, 2021.
“President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the national interest, and therefore is not warranted, with respect to particular matters within the purview of the select committee,” Su wrote. in letters sent to Navarro and Flynn’s attorney. .
Navarro, who served as Donald Trump’s trade adviser, and Flynn, who served as his first national security adviser, join the list of many in the former president’s orbit who have claimed executive privilege in order to delay or to avoid cooperating with the investigation by the nine-member panel. — often at Trump’s behest. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has defied his own subpoena from the committee as he and Trump escalated their legal battles to withhold documents and testimony about the insurgency.
Steve Bannon also claimed the privilege, raising the new legal question of whether or to what extent a claim of executive privilege can extend to communications between a president and an informal adviser outside government.
Bannon has since been charged with two counts of criminal contempt of Congress due to his defiance of the subpoena. That may be what awaits Navarro if he continues to deny the committee’s request to turn over documents and sit down to testify.
The Insurgency Investigative Committee subpoenaed Navarro in early February, seeking to question a Trump ally who promoted false allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“He was not shy about playing his part in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and even discussed the former president’s support for those plans,” said Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman. committee Democrat, in a statement. time.
Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was pardoned by Trump, was subpoenaed in November.
At the time, Thompson cited a December Oval Office meeting with the then-president. Citing news reports, Thompson said Flynn and other attendees “discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain emergency security powers and continuing to spread the message that the November 2020 election was marred by widespread fraud”.
In addition to denying individual privilege, Biden also waived executive privilege on almost every document requested by the committee, citing the need for the panel to investigate the violent attack.
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