Last week, President Joe Biden declined to invoke execute privilege on Donald Trump’s behalf. Who can blame him? We could go on for days about the disrespect Trump showed to President Biden after his victory, but that is not even the point. The point is that the House Select Committee needs to get to the bottom of the January 6 insurrection. Trump might not have led them in a march on the Capitol, but he is just as responsible. He got them riled up with his lies and filled their heads with fighting words. Any other involvement he had must be revealed to the American people. While most of us agree with this sentiment, Associated Press believes President Biden is setting a bad precedence.
It is amazing how quickly the media criticizes Joe Biden with words they should have used about Trump. AP said that “Biden’s decision not to block the information sought by Congress challenges a tested norm.” Let’s not mention the word “norms.” Trump did nothing but break norms, yet the press wants to rail about Biden. Look, what Biden is doing is the right thing. We have a right to know what happened on January 6, and without those records, we may never see the full picture. While some scholars believe Biden has made the wrong choice, others disagree.
The purpose of executive privilege is to ensure that a president can candidly speak with his advisers without fear of public disclosure, especially as those communications relate to official duties. As Palmer Report has detailed in the past, however, executive privilege can be breached under “extraordinary” circumstances, such as the Watergate matter. Watergate involved the burglary of the DNC offices. While that action was despicable, it did not come close to the threat posed by the January 6 insurrection, and the latter event deserves no less treatment than was given to Watergate. To say releasing these documents breaches “the norm” misses the point. Donald Trump tried to stage a coup to overthrow our government. That should not be taken lightly, nor should it be seen as a partisan issue. That type of behavior is a danger to us all—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Look at countries where rightful governments have been overthrown and ask yourself if you want to live in that environment.
Even as the event occurred, Trump refused to call down his people, and in Jon Karl’s upcoming book “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” he revealed how after aides finally convinced Trump to call the rioters down, the video “had to be taped several times before they got it right,” as Trump repeatedly refused to ask his supporters to leave the Capitol. Trump was enjoying himself, and he did not care what happened. That man was out of control, and he was and still is a threat to our country. In such an extreme situation, President Biden has made the right call to refuse to block documents requested by the committee.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years