House committee obtains Trump files after Supreme Court ruling


The National Archives and Records Administration provided the House committee with more than 700 pages of presidential documents after the Supreme Court rejected former President Donald Trump’s request to block their release.

The House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol uprising received the documents Thursday night, according to a person familiar with the handover requesting anonymity to discuss it. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that archives can turn over documents, including presidential diaries, visitor diaries, manuscripts of speeches and handwritten notes related to January 6 from the file of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Trump’s lawyers had hoped to prolong the court battle and keep the documents on hold.

The documents, which the panel first requested in August, will add to the tens of thousands of committees already gathered while investigating the attack by a violent mob of Trump supporters and what the former the president and his aides did while it was going on. The panel has conducted about 350 interviews and scheduled a series of hearings and reports this year as it seeks to compile the most comprehensive account of the uprising.

Trump’s lawsuit to block the release is one of many attempts to impede the committee’s work as he and his allies downplayed the attack. Hundreds of Trump supporters violently shoved police and smashed windows and doors of the Capitol, disrupting President Joe Biden’s confirmation of victory.

As incumbent president, Biden approved the release of most of the filings. But the White House has asked the panel to delay some of its requests, citing national security concerns and executive privilege designed to protect the office of the president.

Repeating arguments they made before the lower courts, Trump’s lawyers urged the judges to step in, arguing that the case involved all future occupants of the White House. . Former presidents have “an express right to protect their confidential records from premature disclosure,” Trump’s attorney said.

In an unsigned opinion, the court admitted there were “serious and substantial concerns” about whether a former president could win a court order to prevent the disclosure of certain records. certain records from his time in office in a situation like this.

But the court noted that the appeals court determined that Trump’s assertion of privilege over the documents would be unsuccessful in any case, “even if he were incumbent.” It said the issue of a former president’s ability to claim executive privileges would have to wait another day.

The House committee responded in its high court summary that while the facts of the case were “unprecedented”, the decision was “not a difficult one”.

Alone among the judges, Clarence Thomas said he would accept Trump’s request.

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