Supreme Court rejects Trump lawsuit for secrecy on Capitol Hill attack records

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s request to block the release of White House records requested by the Democrat-led Congressional panel investigating the Capitol Hill attack in Washington. January of last year by their supporters.

The ruling means the documents, held by a federal agency that stores government and historical records, can be released even if litigation over the matter continues in lower courts.

Only one of the court’s nine members, Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, publicly expressed disagreement with the decision.

Trump’s request to the judges came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 9 ruled that the businessman-turned-politician had no basis to challenge President Joe Biden’s decision to allow records were turned over to the select committee of the Chamber of Deputies.

Trump and his allies have fought an ongoing legal battle with the committee that seeks to block access to documents and witnesses. Trump sought to invoke a legal principle known as executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some internal White House communications, a position rejected by lower courts.

The Supreme Court’s brief order noted that the weighty question of whether a former president can claim a claim to executive privilege did not need to be answered to settle the case.

“As the appeals court concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he had been the incumbent, his former president status necessarily made no difference to the court’s decision,” the unsigned order said.

See footage of the Capitol Raid in January of last year

The House committee said it needs the records to understand any role Trump may have played in fueling the violence that unfolded on January 6, 2021. His supporters stormed Capitol Hill in a failed attempt to prevent Congress from formally certifying victory. of Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

The committee asked the National Archives, which holds Trump White House records, to produce visitor records, phone records and written communications between its aides.

Biden, who took office two weeks after the riot, ruled that the records, which belong to the executive branch, should not be subject to executive privilege and that turning them over to Congress was in the best interest of the nation. Trump has argued that he can invoke executive privilege based on the fact that he was president at the time, even if he is no longer in office.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Nov. 9 rejected Trump’s arguments, saying that she had not recognized “due deference” to Biden’s determination that the committee be able to access the records and adding, “Presidents are not kings and the author is not president”.

The select committee is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 Conservative majority includes three Trump-appointed justices, but has not always been receptive to his requests.

The court last year rejected his request to block the release of his tax records as part of a criminal investigation in New York and also rejected attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election.

Just before the riot, Trump repeated to a crowd of his supporters his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him through widespread election fraud, telling them to go to Capitol Hill and “fight like hell” to “stop the riot.” theft”.

Any delay by the Supreme Court in allowing release of the records could jeopardize the panel’s chances of obtaining them. The committee aims to finish its work before the November congressional elections, in which Trump’s fellow Republicans are trying to regain control of the House. Republicans opposed the creation of the panel and could close the inquiry if they win a majority in the House.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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