The White House in Biden said it could not release visitor records from the White House unilaterally, amid questions about whether anyone who participated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol building had visited the former president in the days before that.
“Under the Presidential Records Act, all White House visitor records are under the control and legal custody of the National Archives and Records Administration, and cannot be released unilaterally by the White House,” a White House spokesman said on Wednesday following inquiries. Reporters during a press conference the previous day.
The Presidential Records Act, which requires the incumbent president to preserve and eventually publish all records related to the performance of their official duties, was passed 42 years ago in response to President Richard Nixon’s attempts to hide the White House tapes that led to his downfall. . The law makes presidential records available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act, starting five years after the end of any administration.