Former President Donald Trump has told four former senior aides not to comply with a congressional investigation into the January 6 attack on Congress, US media reported on Thursday.
Both Politico and The Washington Post reported that former advisers Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, Dan Scavino and Steve Bannon were asked by Trump supporters not to cooperate with a formal House investigation into the riots, which critics have dubbed outright rebellion.
The report came hours after the Senate released a damning report detailing Trump’s efforts to destroy the Justice Department and reverse his November election loss to Joe Biden.
Trump’s lawyers argued in a letter to all four that their communications and records are protected from disclosure by executive privilege and attorney-client privilege.
The select committee to investigate the January 6 attack has called on four former advisers and others involved in the unrest to help piece together ties between Trump’s White House and the hundreds of Trump supporters who made their way into Congress. , preventing a joint session to confirm Biden as president.
Meadows was the White House chief of staff at the time; Scavino handled social media for Trump; Bannon was a former political strategist who was active in Republican campaigns; And Patel was the White House national security adviser who was nominated by Trump to a senior Pentagon job after his election defeat.
The January 6 committee had ordered the four to hand over the documents and appear for interviews with investigators next week.
Legal experts have raised doubts that Trump could claim executive privilege over his actions in his final weeks in office to prevent his aides from talking.
But the issue has not been tested much in the courts and the White House has said it will relinquish a degree of privilege on Trump’s record to help with the investigation.
And Trump’s defiance could force the committee into legal battles that could escalate the investigation.
Committee member Adam Schiff said in a tweet statement: “The former president is still trying to block the summons.”
“This time, witnesses breaking the law must weigh the possibility of criminal prosecution,” he warned.
“Americans should get answers. We’ll make sure they get them.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)