According to a letter obtained by CNN, the White House no longer has possession of the records House Democratic investigators tried to shed light on the inner workings of then-President Donald Trump’s top aides in the days leading up to and on the day of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
“It has been the longstanding practice for all White House records to be transferred to the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of each President’s tenure,” White House counsel Dana Remus wrote in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat.
“As a result, NARA is the appropriate entity to address your request, and should have any records responsive to your request; we do not have custody of such records at the White House,” Remus wrote.
On March 25, House Democratic committee chairs sent letters to a wide variety of organizations, including the White House, federal agencies, local law enforcement, and the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, demanding records and correspondence from before, during, and after the Capitol attack.
This included the National Archives, where Remus stated that any documents relevant to the investigation will now be kept.
The request was a simple step forward for Democrats in their unilateral investigation into the incidents that killed five people, wounded hundreds of police officers, and shocked the world just two weeks before President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Relevant emails and records from then-Trump administration employees with some relationship to the events of January 6 were demanded in the request submitted to the White House — an area that has remained largely unnoticed in the investigation into the attack up to this point.
President Trump encouraged his supporters to come to Washington in the days leading up to the January 6 rally, which came before the attack on the Capitol, as lawmakers prepared to vote to confirm Biden’s electoral victory.
Trump’s calls for supporters to come to Washington were focused on misinformation about a rigged election, according to those who spoke at the rally. None of Trump’s arguments were even close to being valid, and his legal staff, as well as lawyers defending his campaign, were roundly ignored or rejected in their attempts to appeal the results.