Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters, with one wielding a Confederate battle flag that reads “Come and Take It,” during clashes with Capitol police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to temporarily halt the release of White House records to lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol invasion, just one day before those records are set to be delivered.
The request for a “brief” administrative injunction marks the latest step in Trump’s efforts to stop the National Archives from handing reams of documents over to the House select committee probing the deadly attack.
U.S. Archivist David Ferriero is scheduled to start producing those documents by Friday at 6 p.m. ET, Trump’s lawyer told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The lawyer, Jesse Binnall, is asking the D.C. circuit to block the records from being released while the court considers another injunction on a fast-track basis.
The House committee and the National Archives do not oppose the administrative injunction request, Binnall told the appeals court.
The emergency request to the appeals court came after federal Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected multiple attempts by Trump’s lawyer to freeze the transfer of records to the Jan. 6 panel.
The bipartisan select committee is seeking a wide range of records from Trump’s term in the White House, including communications about strategies to reverse President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Trump in mid-October sued the bipartisan select committee, as well as the National Archives and Records Association, in U.S. District Court in Washington to halt the release of those records.
Binnall argued that many of the requested records should be kept confidential because they were protected by executive privilege, the doctrine that allows some executive branch communications to be kept confidential. But Biden had refused to invoke privilege over the disputed documents.
Chutkan ruled against Trump on Tuesday night, writing that his view “appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity’ … But president are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”
Trump filed a notice of appeal to the D.C. circuit less than an hour later.
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