| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Trump asks U.S. Supreme Court to block release of White House records

Former President Donald Trump urged the United States Supreme Court on Thursday to stop the publication of White House materials requested by a House of Representatives committee investigating the fatal Jan. 6 Capitol assault.

Trump’s appeal comes two weeks after the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that the former president lacked standing to contest Democratic Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to release the materials. The decision will be postponed until the Supreme Court makes a ruling.

Biden had previously ruled that the executive branch records should not be subject to executive privilege, which preserves the confidentiality of some internal White House discussions, and that giving them over to Congress was in the national interest.

The House Select Committee’s request, according to Trump’s lawyers, is “exceedingly wide” and a “unprecedented invasion on presidential privilege.”

The appeals court decision was the another setback for the Republican former president and his associates, who have been fighting the committee in court for access to records and witnesses.

The committee has asked the National Archives, the U.S. agency housing Trump’s White House records, to produce visitor logs, phone records and written communications between his advisers.

The panel has said it needs the records to understand any role Trump may have played in fomenting the violence.

Trump has argued that he can invoke executive privilege based on the fact that he was president at the time even though he is no longer in office.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Nov. 9 rejected Trump’s arguments, saying he had not acknowledged the “deference owed” to Biden’s determination that the committee could access the records. adding: “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

The Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority that includes three justices appointed by Trump, but it has not always been receptive to his requests.

In February, the court rejected his request to block disclosure of his tax records as part of a criminal investigation in New York and in 2020 also turned away attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn that year’s presidential election, which he lost to Biden.

  • Reuters