As the Department of Justice weighs whether to prosecute Steve Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress, President Joe Biden continues to make perfectly clear that protecting democracy is far more important to him than shielding the office of the president from scrutiny.
Biden, who holds the power to decided whether to invoke an executive privilege claim, has now twice taken a pass on shielding White House records from congressional investigators.
On Monday, White House counsel Dana Remus informed the National Archives that Biden would not assert a privilege claim over a second tranche of records that Donald Trump has sought to keep secret.
"President Biden has considered the former President's assertion, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice," Remus wrote, according to CNN.
In the letter, Remus indicated that protecting the interests of the republic had weighed weighed heavily in Biden's decision.
"President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to the documents provided to the White House on September 16, 2021, and September 23, 2021. Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former President's assertion of privilege," wrote Remus.
Trump filed a lawsuit last week suing the House select committee on Jan. 6 and the National Archives in hopes of blocking release of the documents under his tenure. The federal judge handling the matter, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, has moved forward expeditiously, setting a Nov. 4 hearing date and a rapid schedule for the case to proceed.
The letter from Remus told the National Archives to provide the requested documents to the Jan. 6 panel 30 days after notifying Trump, "absent any intervening court order."
But if leaders at the Department of Justice have any questions as to President Biden’s commitment to uncovering the truth about who perpetrated the coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol, they shouldn’t.