Trump asks Supreme Court to stop publication of White House records

Washington – Former President Donald Trump on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to stop the transfer of certain documents from the White House to the National Archives to the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

The former president appealed a decision of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which earlier this month dismissed Trump’s efforts to protect his files from the House Select Committee of January 6.

The DC Circuit temporarily suspended the submission of cases to the committee and gave the former president 14 days to seek a ruling from the Supreme Court.

In the case asking judges to take up his dispute, Trump’s lawyers argued that investigators’ request for documents was “strangely broad” and “independent of any valid legislative purpose.” The demand, they continued, exceeds the authority of Congress under the Constitution and the Presidential Records Act, which governs the records of presidents.

“A former president’s files are not distributed freely at the end of his term, even in Congress,” Trump’s lawyers told the court. “Except in extraordinary circumstances, records are protected from disclosure for a considerable period of time after a president has left office.”

Lawyers for the former president have also argued that his White House records should be protected under the idea of ​​executive privilege, which states that certain presidential communications can be protected from scrutiny and kept confidential.

“Despite a clear precedent and clear precepts in the law, the DC Circuit supported the committee’s broad demands and refused to honor President Trump’s well-established claims for executive privilege,” the lawyers wrote. former president.

Trump’s lawyers told judges the committee’s request for his case “should have been dismissed out of hand.”

“What is at stake is the ability of presidents – past, present and future – to rely on executive privilege, the separation of powers and the presidential records law to protect confidential presidential records from deliberations against untimely production by rivals. . policies, ”they said.

Trump sued the committee investigating the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol in October after President Biden rejected the former president’s claim of executive privilege over documents sought by the panel. The House committee is seeking documents and communications related to January 6, including documents relating to Trump’s prepared and actual public remarks from November 3, 2020 to January 20.

Since the former president filed his complaint, the National Archives have revealed that they have identified more than 1,500 relevant pages at the committee’s request. These include the daily presidential papers, files of Mark Meadows, then White House chief of staff, several filing cabinets belonging to then White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and points White House discussion alleging voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has since argued that about 750 of those documents, which are the subject of the ongoing lawsuit, should be kept confidential under claims of executive privilege.

“While the protections of executive privilege and the restrictions on access to presidential records are qualified, it is essential that future presidents and their advisers understand the contours and perimeters of this privilege – and its exceptions – after the end of a presidential mandate, ”Trump said. lawyers mentioned. “Otherwise, the deliberative process of advising presidents will be slowed down, as advisers will no doubt understand that the audience for their deliberations is not just the president in whose administration they serve, but also Congress and their political rivals.” “”

The select committee’s requests for information, including Trump’s White House files, dismissed numerous legal challenges, as former White House aides refused to hand over the documents, citing allegations of executive privilege from the former president.

Earlier this month, Meadows filed a lawsuit in federal court to quash subpoenas issued by the House committee for testimony and telephone tapes, as did Michael Flynn, the former Trump National security adviser. Meadows and Flynn argued that the subpoenas issued by the select committee were too broad and had no legislative purpose.

Trump himself has in the past sought intervention by the Supreme Court in an effort to protect his financial records from Congressional investigators and the Manhattan District Attorney. The former president has appointed three judges to the High Court, bringing his Tory majority to 6-3.

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The message that Trump is asking the Supreme Court to stop publishing White House records first appeared on TBEN News.

Jacob L. Thornton