By Katelyn Polantz, CNN Reporter, Crime and Justice
The White House said earlier this month that it won’t block House subpoenas to Dan Scavino, the former deputy chief of staff to then-President Donald Trump, related to related to the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
The Biden administration is not asserting executive privileges that could shield Scavino from being forced to answer questions about discussions in the Trump White House around January 6, 2021, or about attempts to use the Justice Department to prop up election fraud disinformation.
CNN has obtained the letter the White House sent to Scavino’s attorney on March 15 telling him it would not assert privilege related to his House January 6 select committee subpoenas. In essence, this removes the legal shield Scavino had from being forced to testify.
The Biden White House says it’s not even interested in sitting in on a Scavino deposition with the House — a fairly standard approach when former officials testify that allows the administration to step in if they don’t believe certain questions should be answered for secrecy reasons.
This position from Biden’s White House isn’t new with regards to Trump-era witnesses and documents. The White House has refused to assert a need for secrecy in response to most House requests related to January 6.
Scavino responded over the weekend, challenging whether the Biden administration has the legal authority to make executive privilege decisions related to an earlier administration as the House looks to hold him in contempt. The committee is planning to vote on recommending a criminal contempt referral Monday night.
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