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Appeals court rejects Trump’s offer to stop publication of January 6 documents: NPR


The United States Court of Appeals has rejected efforts by former President Trump to prevent the disclosure of certain documents to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

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LM Otero / AP

Appeals court rejects Trump’s offer to stop publication of January 6 documents: NPR

The United States Court of Appeals has rejected efforts by former President Trump to prevent the disclosure of certain documents to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

LM Otero / AP

A federal appeals court has rejected former President Donald Trump’s offer to block disclosure of some of his White House files to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The unanimous decision of the three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court ruling that a slice of Trump’s White House files can be provided to the Democrat-led committee.

“In the case before us, former President Trump has provided no basis for this tribunal to overturn President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations reached between the political branches on these documents,” he said. writes Judge Patricia Millett in the decision. “Both branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s investigation into an attack on the legislative branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power.”

The court said it would leave its temporary 14-day document release block in place to give Trump time to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, as lawyers for the former president have said. they intended to do so.

Still, the move is a positive step for the Jan. 6 committee, which said it needed Trump’s White House records – communications, calendars, schedules – to get a better idea of ​​what Trump did in. the prospect of January 6 and the same day.

The panel asked the National Archives, which are the custodians of the presidential records, to provide the documents. President Biden waived executive privilege over documents, saying the House investigation is unique and that there is a public interest in getting to the bottom of the deadly events of January 6.

Trump then went on to try to prevent the committee from obtaining the documents, arguing, among other things, that Biden was wrong to waive executive privilege.

A district court judge ruled against Trump. He appealed to the DC Circuit Court, which also ruled against him.

“The central question in this case is whether, despite the exceptional and compelling circumstances underlying the Committee’s request and President Biden’s decision, a federal court can, at the former president’s request, override President Biden’s decision not to invoke privilege and prevent his release to Congress of documents in his possession that he deems necessary for a critical legislative inquiry, ”Justice Millett wrote in the notice.

The court ruled that President Biden had made a “carefully reasoned” ruling that these documents should not be protected by executive privilege and that disclosure was in the national interest. He said Congress had demonstrated its “vital interest” in investigating Jan. 6 and that the documents were relevant to its investigation.

The court also said Trump had not alleged, let alone demonstrated, any particular harm that would result from the disclosure of those records.

“Former President Trump has also failed to establish irreparable harm, and the balance of interest and equity weighs decisively in favor of disclosure,” the court said.

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