US Capitol Riots: Appeals Court weighs Trump’s arguments to withhold records

WASHINGTON – Lawyers for former US President Donald Trump will try to convince a federal appeals court to block Congress from receiving call logs, speech manuscripts and other documents related to the uprising. January 6 at the US Capitol led by his supporters.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear arguments on Tuesday from lawyers for Trump and the House committee that is seeking the records as part of its investigation into the riots.

Trump’s lawyers want the court to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that allowed the National Archives and Records Administration to turn over the records after US President Joe Biden relinquished executive privileges. Judge Tanya Chutkan dismissed Trump’s claim that he could use executive privilege to sidestep Biden, noting in part, “The President is not a king, and Plaintiff is not the president.” The Court of Appeals issued an administrative stay order following Chutkan’s ruling to review the case.

The Democratic presidents have nominated all three judges, who will hear arguments on Tuesday. Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins were nominated by US President Barack Obama, and Ketanji Brown Jackson was the Biden appointee.

Given the stakes of the case, either party is likely to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

In their appeal to the circuit court, Trump’s lawyers said they agree with Chutkan that presidents are not kings. They wrote: “Yes, but in the same context, Congress is not Parliament – ​​a legislative body with supreme constitutional power and unbridled control over government activities.

Trump has argued that records of his discussions on January 6 must be withheld to protect executive privilege for future presidents and that the Democratic-led House is primarily motivated pushed by politics. Attorneys for the US House of Representatives Committee dismissed those arguments and called Trump’s efforts to assert executive privilege “unprecedented and deeply flawed.”

“It is difficult to imagine a more important topic for a congressional investigation, and Mr Trump’s arguments cannot outweigh the pressing needs of Congress,” the committee’s attorneys said.


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