While the exact nature of these records remains unclear, the committee’s move to “defer” the request following discussions with President Joe Biden’s White House suggests the committee may be paring back the number of documents it’s pursuing because of a potentially lengthy court battle Trump has already launched over executive privilege.
Trump previously sought to assert privilege on more than 40 documents held by the Archives and sued to attempt to block the House from accessing them. Since then, the National Archives has processed a second and third batch of records from the Trump presidency. Trump has objected to the release of many of those documents, too.
The Biden White House said earlier this month that it would not intervene to block access to any of the records so far. The National Archives also previously found that the records were relevant to the committee’s investigation.
The committee is making clear that it has not withdrawn its request entirely and could seek the records at a later date.
“The Select Committee has agreed to defer action on certain records as part of the accommodations process. The Select Committee has not withdrawn its request for those records and will continue to engage with the executive branch to ensure we get access to all the information relevant to our probe,” committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey told CNN Wednesday.
The deferral was first reported by Politico. It also was mentioned in an October 25 letter to the National Archives and Records Administration from the White House counsel’s office.