By Paula Reid, CNN
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik says he is planning to publicly release some documents requested by the House select committee investigating January 6.
Kerik worked alongside his longtime friend Rudy Giuliani, a former attorney for former President Donald Trump, in the weeks after the presidential election to find any evidence of voter fraud that would swing it for Trump. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
The committee subpoenaed Kerik in November in part because it alleged he had attended a meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, on January 5 in which Giuliani; former Trump adviser Steve Bannon; John Eastman, an attorney who worked with Trump’s legal team; and others discussed options for overturning the election results, such as pressuring then-Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the Electoral College results, among other things.
In a letter Thursday to committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, Kerik’s attorney Timothy Parlatore said Kerik “very much wants to cooperate” with the investigation but will only do so publicly.
Kerik intends to produce “documents which are not privileged” to the committee by the end of next week. He plans to post the requested materials on a public website despite the committee’s preference “to receive documents in a protected electronic form.” Parlatore told the committee his client wants to avoid “selected portions of documents being presented without context.”
The letter also says Kerik intends to provide a log of documents he believes are protected by various privileges. Kerik insists that Trump has only agreed to waive privilege if Kerik’s cooperation is public.
“Because you have refused to accept the one condition that he placed on privilege waiver, we now have the additional burden of preparing a privilege log,” Parlatore complained to the committee.
Lawmakers have also ordered Kerik to appear for a closed-door deposition on January 13, but Kerik insists on a public hearing.
“Unfortunately, our efforts are being hampered by your insistence on using a fatally flawed deposition process rather than a public hearing,” Parlatore said.
Parlatore points to the fact that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a similar request to the House select committee on Benghazi and was allowed to testify at a public hearing only.
The January 6 committee has previously said it “may, if appropriate, call for Kerik to appear in a public hearing in the future and after he sits for a deposition.”
Parlatore argues that the committee’s lack of a ranking minority member may undermine its authority to compel testimony. “Speaker Pelosi made the admittedly ‘unprecedented decision’ to exclude the members selected by the Minority Leader, leading to your current predicament of lacking the requisite committee member to avail yourself of the use of depositions.”
It was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, however, who made the decision to not cooperate with the investigation after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi balked at the inclusion of several Republicans who had objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, are serving on the committee, and Cheney is the panel’s vice chairwoman.
Parlatore raises two alternative solutions: civil litigation or a recorded deposition, which would be immediately released to the public.
“A civil action would be a fantastic solution to ensure both of us can resolve our different interpretations of the limits of privilege as well as whether the subpoena for a deposition is even valid,” he writes.
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