Donald Trump tends to throw some kind of tantrum on a nearly daily basis, and yesterday was no exception. But the former president's latest outrage stood out for a reason.
Without going into details, the Republican issued a written statement late in the afternoon denouncing a "leftist" congressional committee engaged in a "partisan sham," which he intends to contest by way of "executive privilege."
And what, pray tell, had the former president so worked up? NBC News reported yesterday on the latest requests for information from the bipartisan congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol demanded records Wednesday of communications related to the assault among federal officials and a host of Trump staffers and allies, including some family members. In letters to eight federal agencies, including the Justice and Defense departments, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the bipartisan committee, requested a trove of specific communications.
As the Mississippi congressman told Rachel on the show last night, the bipartisan panel is expecting the records to be delivered to the committee by Sept. 9 -- two weeks from today -- which Thompson considers realistic because related congressional requests for the materials have been pending for months.
Failure to comply will almost certainly lead to subpoenas.
Time will tell, of course, whether the House select committee will receive the information it needs, but what's striking in the short term is the scope and nature of the request. It's now obvious that part of the official inquiry into the assault on the Capitol is an examination of Team Trump's efforts to defy the election results and cling to power despite the will of the American electorate.
Those hoping to see the select committee adopt a meek approach, with a narrow remit, were reminded yesterday that the bipartisan panel has far greater ambitions in mind. As Rachel noted on last night's show, the latest document requests to the National Archives include practically everything that happened the day of the pro-Trump riot.
But they're also demanding records related to:
- "Planning by the White House and others for legal or other strategies to delay, halt, or otherwise impede the electoral count";
- "Any documents and communications relating to instructions to stop or delay preparation for the transition of administrations";
- "[C]ommunications discussing the recognition of Joseph Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential election";
- "All documents and communications concerning the potential invocation of the Insurrection Act";
- "From November 3, 2020, through January 20, 2021, all documents and communications related to martial law";
- "All documents and communications concerning the use of Federal law enforcement or military personnel during voting in the 2020 Presidential election."
And that's just part of what the committee is seeking from the National Archives. The comprehensive review goes even further with requests to several other departments and agencies.
Is it any wonder Trump seemed awfully nervous about the breadth of the investigation?