On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States officially denied former President Donald Trump’s request to block the release of certain White House records to the January 6 committee tasked with investigating the protest-turned riot last year in reaction to the 2020 presidential election. Trump had cited executive privilege on certain documents requested as to why they could not be made available to Congress.
Reuters reported that the announcement means SCOTUS has “formally ended” Trump’s bid to block the Committee from those records, meaning that they will have full access to those documents:
The court’s decision to formally reject Trump’s appeal follows its Jan. 19 order that led to the documents being handed over to the House of Representatives investigative Committee by the federal agency that stores government and historical records.
“The House Committee has said it needed the records to understand any role Trump may have played in fomenting the violence that unfolded on Jan. 6, 2021.” Reuters added, noting that “The Committee asked the National Archives to produce visitor logs, phone records and written communications between his advisers.”
In October 2021, Trump sued the House Select Committee to investigate January 6, its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the National Archives, and national archivist David Ferriero. “The former president claimed that the Committee’s request to the archives for his records — such as the internal communications of his staff — violates executive privilege,” The Daily Wire previously reported.
“The Committee’s request amounts to nothing less than a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorsed by Biden and designed to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration. Our laws do not permit such an impulsive, egregious action against a former President and his close advisors,” the lawsuit stated at the time.
Thompson and co-chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) pushed back at the time, accusing Trump of trying to thwart their probe, The Daily Wire noted:
“The former President’s clear objective is to stop the Select Committee from getting to the facts about January 6th and his lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to delay and obstruct our probe,” the statement said. “Precedent and law are on our side. Executive privilege is not absolute and President Biden has so far declined to invoke that privilege. Additionally, there’s a long history of the White House accommodating congressional investigative requests when the public interest outweighs other concerns. It’s hard to imagine a more compelling public interest than trying to get answers about an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn the results of an election.”
“The Select Committee’s authority to seek these records is clear. We’ll fight the former President’s attempt to obstruct our investigation while we continue to push ahead successfully with our probe on a number of other fronts,” it continued.
Critics have asserted that the entire January 6 Committee is a sham designed to go after political enemies at taxpayers’ expense, not a pursuit of justice or truth. On Monday, Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) wrote a letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal, signed by several GOP colleagues, slamming Cheney and the Committee for “running roughshod over civil liberties”:
“The Committee is anything but a fair and neutral finder of fact,” Banks wrote. “Because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the unprecedented step of rejecting Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s chosen slate of Republicans, the Committee lacks any semblance of objectivity. It is populated instead with members motivated by political vendettas—a bias that will ensure one-sided findings and distorted conclusions.”
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