US Judge Rules Release of Trump Capitol Attack Records to Congress
Former US President Trump attempted to halt the release of documents related to the January 6 Capitol attack following a US judge's order.
A US judge ruled on Tuesday that any White House records that could implicate former President Donald Trump in the January 6 attack on the Capitol be released to a Congressional Committee.
The House Select Committee has ordered the documents and will be investigating the January 6 riots, in which hundreds of Trump supporters forced a suspension of Congress and delayed a joint session to announce that Joe Biden had won the November 2020 election.
Trump sued in an attempt to halt the release of the documents, arguing that, as a former president, he retained executive privilege to keep the communications and visitor logs related to that day under seal.
US District Judge Tanya Chutkan refused Trump's motion in a 39-page opinion obtained by various US media sites, arguing that it was in the public's interest to turn over the documents, which Biden had already agreed to allow.
Trump's "position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power 'exists in perpetuity,'" Chutkan wrote. "But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President."
"The court holds that the public interest lies in permitting -- not enjoining -- the combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to and occurred on January 6, and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever occurring again," she added.
Trump attempts to block the release of documents
According to a court order released in October, Trump attempted to block documents including records from his top aides and memoranda to his press secretary.
The pages include records of his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, his former senior advisor Stephen Miller and his former deputy counsel Patrick Philbin.
Trump had also hoped to block the release of the White House Daily Diary -- a record of his activities, trips, briefings, and phone calls.
Memos to Trump's former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, a handwritten note on the events of January 6, and a draft transcript of his speech at the "Save America" rally, which led to the attack, are among the papers Trump does not want Congress to read.
Multiple US media outlets report that Trump filed for an appeal
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich Tweeted that "Pres. Trump remains committed to defending the Constitution & the Office of the Presidency, & will be seeing this process through," while asserting that the matter of executive privilege "was destined to be decided by the Appellate Courts."
The battle to defend Executive Privilege for Presidents past, present & future—from its outset—was destined to be decided by the Appellate Courts. Pres. Trump remains committed to defending the Constitution & the Office of the Presidency, & will be seeing this process through.— Taylor Budowich (@TayFromCA) November 10, 2021
Meanwhile, House committee lawmakers issued subpoenas to top Trump officials who allegedly plotted to overturn his defeat in a "war room" at a high-end Washington hotel on Monday.
That was followed by a new round of subpoenas Tuesday to some of his most senior lieutenants, including McEnany and Miller.