The National Archives plans to release four pages of Trump-era White House documents to the House on Wednesday, in what appears to be the first time the committee that’s investigating the January 6 riot would get records that former President Donald Trump wants to keep secret.
As the agency that holds all of the Trump White House records, the Archives notified the courts of the imminent turnover in a filing on Tuesday night.
Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block the release of hundreds of pages of records related to January 6, arguing the documents are protected by executive privilege. The Biden White House, however, supports releasing the records to the House select committee, after determining the disclosure is in the nation’s best interest and declining to assert executive privilege.
The Supreme Court has not yet acted.
Even though Trump has not won in lower courts, the appellate court in DC has blocked the release of three tranches of documents pending action from the Supreme Court. The handful of pages the Archives is set to turn over Wednesday are part of a fourth tranche of records.
The Biden administration says it believes those records aren’t covered by Trump’s lawsuit, according to the Tuesday filing. The administration had given Trump a 30-day window to try to convince a court to keep the four pages of records secret, and that window expires Wednesday.
“Because the former President has not obtained such an injunction from any court, the release will proceed as scheduled absent an intervening court order,” the administration wrote in the filing.
The documents are set to go to the House committee at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the filing. It’s not clear what those four pages include.
The select committee is seeking more than 700 pages of disputed documents as it explores Trump’s role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. That includes his appearance at a January 6 rally in which he directed followers to go to the US Capitol where lawmakers were set to certify the election results and “fight” for their county.
The documents include activity logs, schedules, speech notes and three pages of handwritten notes from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — paperwork that could reveal goings-on inside the West Wing as Trump supporters gathered in Washington and then overran the Capitol, disrupting the certification of the 2020 vote.
Trump is also seeking to keep secret a draft proclamation honoring two police officers who died in the siege and memos and other documents about supposed election fraud and efforts to overturn Trump’s loss of the presidency, the National Archives has said in court documents.
Broadly, the Trump White House records could answer some of the most closely guarded facts of what happened between Trump and other high-level officials, including those under siege on Capitol Hill on January 6.