Former President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the release of his White House papers to a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Trump wants to override President Joe Biden’s decision to waive executive privilege over the documents, but Biden’s stance and Congress’s need for the documents combined to outweigh Trump’s claim of secrecy, as per a federal appeals court.
This attack took place when Congress was meeting to certify Biden’s victory, and Trump and his allies have resisted the House select committee’s effort to investigate the attack and determine what kind of role the former President exactly had.
Trump asked the justices to take up his appeal and block the release of the records for now. He has been given 14 days by the appeal court to seek Supreme Court intervention, and until the high court acts, the documents will remain a secret.
These records are being held by the National Archives, and they include visitor and call logs, emails, draft speeches and handwritten notes, while Trump is objecting to the release of about 800 pages of material, claiming that they involve protected presidential communications.
Trump’s lawyers argued in court papers about this issue, saying: “Congress may not rifle through the confidential presidential papers of a former president to meet political objectives or advance a case study. These sweeping requests are indicative of the committee’s broad investigation of a political foe, divorced from any of Congress’s legislative functions” laid out in the Constitution.
A Mississippi Democrat who chairs the panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans, Representative Bennie Thompson, urged the court to put the case on a fast track for resolution, by asking the justices to schedule Trump’s appeal for discussion at their private conference on Jan. 14.
“The select committee needs the requested documents now to help shape the direction of the investigation and allow the select committee to timely recommend remedial legislation. The public has a significant interest in the expeditious consideration of remedial measures aimed at securing the safety and soundness of our democratic processes and institutions,” they argued.