The chair of the January 6th House Select Committee investigating last year’s riot at the U.S. Capitol is already finding newly released visitor logs from Donald Trump’s White House “very fruitful,” according to CNN.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) turned over the logs, which Trump had battled to keep secret, on Thursday after it was ordered to do so by President Joe Biden. NARA also turned over records from former Vice President Mike Pence, meeting a March 3rd deadline. Select Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told CNN reporter Annie Grayer that he was already finding both sets of records “very fruitful,” though he provided no other details.
The Select Committee had fought to obtain the visitor logs in an effort to track people who may have discussed the attack on Congress with Trump in the Oval Office. Trump tried to block the release of the visitor logs, claiming they were shielded by executive privilege.
Jan 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson tells me that the committee has “started receiving” Trump White House visitor logs and records of former Vice President Mike Pence and that the docs are “very fruitful.”
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) March 8, 2022
But President Biden rejected his claim “in light of the urgency” of the committee’s work and the “compelling need” for Congress to determine exactly what fueled the storming of the Capitol on the day Congress met to certify the Electoral College count from the 2020 election. “The President has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interest of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to these records and portions of records,” White House counsel Dana Remus wrote in a letter last month to National Archivist David Ferriero.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 8, 2022
Several other documents turned over in January to the committee from the Trump White House had arrived at the National Archives ripped to pieces. NARA taped them back together. A statement from the National Archives noted that they had been “torn up by former President Trump.”
"We didn't have thousands of people just randomly show up on the 6th of January. There was a method. There was a planning. There was a purpose. And we are going to uncover all of that."
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) March 6, 2022
In the interest of transparency, the Biden administration has released its logs monthly, as have other administrations.