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Trump asks Supreme Court to prevent January 6 House riot panel from getting White House

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to block a request for White House data from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a mob of Trump supporters.

The request came two weeks after two lower courts rejected Trump’s argument that the data is protected by executive privilege, a legal doctrine that allows some White House communications to remain private.

President Joe Biden had refused to rely on the disputed documents.

The Supreme Court is under no obligation to hear Trump’s lawsuit, which would prevent the National Archives from giving the House committee hundreds of pages of records from Trump’s White House.

The former president asked that until the Supreme Court decides whether to hear his case, it will block the data from being sent to the panel in the meantime.

Later on Thursday, attorneys for the Jan. 6 House Committee asked the Supreme Court to act more quickly than normal rules require to consider whether the case should be accepted, citing “the undeniable importance and urgency of the investigation of the select committee”.

“Delay would seriously injure the select committee and the public,” attorneys for the panel said, arguing the documents are now needed “to set the direction of the investigation.”

Trump’s attorneys said in their Supreme Court review petition that the House committee’s request “involves major constitutional and statutory concerns arising from the Presidential Records Act, the separation of powers and executive privilege.”

“A former president has the right to enforce administrative law even after his term in office,” the petition states. “Congress may not rummage through a former president’s confidential presidential papers to achieve political goals or advance a case study.”

Trump lashed out at the committee in a statement Thursday reiterating his false claims that Biden had been elected president over him solely because of widespread vote fraud.

“The people being prosecuted by the Jan. 6 Unselect Committee just need to tell the truth that they are angry about the 2020 RIGGED presidential election,” Trump said.

“People have the right to freedom of expression, and perhaps there has never been a time in the history of our country where freedom of expression has been so totally violated,” he said. “They don’t want to talk about election results because they know they can’t win.”

Trump’s request to the Supreme Court to appeal came as the select committee examines its role in the January riots, when hundreds of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol, forcing members of the House and Senate to flee their chambers. .

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The rioters, many spurred on by Trump’s repeated lie that the 2020 election victory had been stolen from him, temporarily stopped Congress from confirming Biden’s Electoral College victory.

The committee is also investigating whether Trump tried to stop Congress from doing its official job of counting the electoral votes.

U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) testifies before the House Rules Committee on the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s recommendation that the House considers Mark Meadows criminal contempt of Congress at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, Dec. 14, 2021.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

The panel’s vice-chair, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of only two Republicans on the nine-member committee, last week said an “important question for this committee” is whether Trump, “by action or inaction, is corrupt” [sought] to obstruct or obstruct the official procedure of Congress to count the electoral votes.”

A federal district judge last month ruled against Trump’s attempt to preserve the commission’s files, writing that his position “appears to be based on the idea that his executive power “exists forever…but presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

In disputes between current and former presidents, “greater weight is given to the opinion of the incumbent party,” Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote.

Trump appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but that court upheld Chutkan’s ruling.

Biden “and the legislature have shown a national interest and urgent need for the prompt disclosure of these documents,” a panel of three Circuit Court judges said in their Dec. 9 decision.

However, the appeals court granted Trump’s request to temporarily suspend the release of the documents during a lawsuit, giving Trump’s lawyers 14 days to file files with the Supreme Court before the temporary ban is lifted.