Donald Trump fought hard this week to keep documents out of the hands of Congress. Ultimately, he got a small win — a delay and temporary reprieve, with an opportunity to argue his case.
Of course, the significant question remains: what is Trump trying to hide?
According to Alternet, the answer is quite a few documents, numbering hundreds of pages.
He isn’t objecting to all the records Congress wants to see — just over a third of the documents that Congress was supposed to receive this past Friday, and slightly under half of the 1,600 pages that the National Archives has already reviewed for release over the next few weeks.
The specific objections?
The majority are described as talking points that had been prepared for Trump’s press secretary. While it’s not clear exactly what these talking points might have been, the National Archives was specifically instructed to turn over documents that pertained to any potential coordination of the attack or efforts to delay the electoral vote confirmation.
Other documents that Trump wants withheld are telling, too — they include a lot of records showing Trump’s movements in advance of the attack, including who he was meeting with, and who he was speaking with by phone.
Trump’s meetings could be a significant piece of evidence against him, if he truly met with individuals or groups who were plotting the violent attack on the Capitol Building. However, even if the meetings were only about subverting the election outcome by less overt means, such as pressuring Pence to illegally reject electoral votes, it could still equal criminal culpability.
There are already assertions to this effect — for instance, the Washington Post reports on a series of meetings in D.C. in January, involving Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, as well as Steve Bannon (who has been indicted for defying a subpoena as a witness in the investigation), and others who would offer political and legal advice on strategies for overturning Joe Biden’s electoral win. One attendee has specifically admitted that the meetings were about an effort to have Mike Pence reject electoral votes from some of the states Biden won.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com