National Archives Reportedly Sends More Trump-Era Records To Jan. 6 Panel


The National Archives and Records Administration has provided the House committee investigating the Capitol riot with a new batch of Trump Administration documents, a trove that may include material on former Vice President Mike Pence’s role in certifying the 2020 presidential election, Politico reported Tuesday.

Key Facts

The National Archives confirmed to Politico on Tuesday the latest round of documents had been sent to the January 6 committee.

National Archivist David Ferriero said February 16 the archives would turn over the latest batch of records to the committee by Thursday unless prevented by court order, indicating former President Donald Trump has—at least temporarily—paused legal challenges attempting to halt the handover of documents from his administration.

President Joe Biden instructed the National Archives to hand over materials subpoenaed by lawmakers within 30 days of notifying Trump of the request, White House counsel Dana Remus said in a February letter.

Remus indicated in her letter the documents may contain material on Pence’s role in certifying electoral votes, after Trump’s allies unsuccessfully tried to persuade Pence to somehow reject Biden’s win when he presided over a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.

Trump alleged Friday the committee’s sole motivation was to prevent him from running for president again, his latest criticism of lawmakers investigating the Capitol riot.

The archives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Key Background

Trump filed a lawsuit last year to block the House committee’s requests for records from his administration, which Trump’s lawyers characterized as a legally arbitrary campaign to “rifle through the confidential, presidential papers of a former president.” Trump argued his documents were protected by “executive privilege,” a legal doctrine that allows presidents to keep some records confidential, but these challenges were rejected by district and appellate court judges and the Supreme Court. The committee’s request for documents on Pence’s role in the 2020 presidential election may relate to a strategy put forth by former Trump legal adviser John C. Eastman to have Pence overturn Biden’s victory by declaring certain states’ electoral votes “disputed.” Pence ultimately didn’t attempt to reject Biden’s victory, and he declared last month he had “no right” to overturn the election, later remarking that Republicans “cannot win by fighting yesterday’s battles, or by relitigating the past.”

Surprising Fact

The National Archives have struggled to retrieve and organize Trump Administration documents, some of which were improperly stored at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and some of which had been ripped up and taped back together. The committee has faced limited cooperation during its investigation into the Capitol riot, with some Trump allies defying subpoenas from lawmakers. Last week, the committee subpoenaed Kimberly Guilfoyle—fiancée to Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign fundraising chief—after Guilfoyle cut short an earlier voluntary interview.


Some of the documents most recently turned over to the January 6 committee may relate to Rep. Louie Gohmert’s (R-Texas) 2020 lawsuit against Pence, Politico said. Gohmert and several other Republicans filed a suit asking a Texas federal court judge to empower Pence to decide which electoral votes to count in the 2020 presidential election, effectively giving Pence the power to determine the winner of the election. The lawsuit was thrown out December 31 after Texas-based federal Judge Jeremy Kernodle decided Gohmert and the other plaintiffs had insufficient standing to sue.

Further Reading

“January 6 Committee Subpoenas Kimberly Guilfoyle, Says She Helped Incite Capitol Riot” (Forbes)

“Why Are These GOP Leaders Suing Mike Pence? To Try And Overturn The Election, Of Course” (Forbes)