Judge denies Trump’s attempt to retain records on Jan. 6

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A federal judge allowed the United States House to access hundreds of pages of documents from Donald Trump’s presidency about the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, in a forceful rejection of Trump’s recent attempts to control information.

The ruling by Judge Tanya Chutkan of the US District Court in DC on Tuesday is a blow to Trump’s efforts to keep more than 700 pages of White House records secret — though his legal team does informed the court that you intend to appeal.

“Presidents are not kings and the Claimant is not the president,” she wrote.

As of now, the National Archives continues on its way to handing the House a series of documents on Friday, including White House call logs, video records and schedules related to Jan. 6, as well as three pages of handwritten notes by then of Trump’s staff. The outcome in court may also help the House in its search for more information from those around Trump, including witnesses who have been subpoenaed and haven’t spoken to the committee yet.

“The court finds that the public interest is in allowing – not in ordering – the joint will of the legislative and executive powers to study the events that led to and occurred on January 6, and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever occurring. again,” Chutkan wrote in a 39-page review.

The judge, in her decision, closed Trump’s arguments in court on several fronts.

She decided that the will of a former president would not trump the current president’s decisions regarding the protection of insider information of the Executive Branch. “It is the incumbent president who is best placed to protect the interests of the executive branch,” Chutkan said.

She also vetoed Trump any attempt to protect herself from secrecy. Presidential privilege “exists for the benefit of the Republic, not of any individual,” she wrote. Therefore, Congress and the courts can access presidential communications when there is a need to inform the public, the judge ruled.

In that case, the judge said she would not examine Trump’s records document by document and would not question the Biden administration’s decision to release them. She also noted that while the committee has made sweeping requests, it “does not exceed” its legislative power.

The former Republican president filed his lawsuit last month in DC District Court, alleging executive privilege and claiming that House requests for documents are “unprecedented in their breadth and scope” and illegitimate.

The Biden White House refused to step in to block access to Trump’s records. The National Archives, which inherited Trump’s presidential records after he left office, said it will begin handing over the records to the House committee next week, on Nov. 12, with more document productions scheduled for late November.

The case has already become a historic test of power for a former president.

Some of the records Trump has sought to keep secret include records of White House visitors, call logs and notes from his top advisers relating to his allegations that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and his reaction to the January 6 attack of according to a sworn statement from the National Archives.

The House argued to the court that Trump does not have the right to keep confidential documents of his presidency and said the need for the records is to reconstruct Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 and his efforts to undermine the 2020 election.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House select committee, called the decision a “big deal” for the Congressional investigation, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time” that he hopes the panel’s investigators will “move forward (the documents) with a fine tooth comb to ensure that our government was not armed against its citizens. ”

“We can only do this with access to information. I applaud our lawyers who defended us in this courtroom,” said the Mississippi Democrat. “I applaud the swift decision we got because we have to come to this.”

This story was updated with additional details on Tuesday.

(Translated text. Read the original in English here).

Reference: CNN Brasil

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