Former US President Donald Trump is not allowed to hide documents related to the storming of the Capitol by his supporters from the commission investigating the January 6 uprising. This was decided by the Washington Court of Appeals, according to the Associated Press.
The court rejected Trump’s argument that the documents, requested by the House of Representatives Committee of Inquiry, would fall under a presidential privilege of secrecy. According to the judges, “there is no basis” for that.
According to the commission, the documents, including White House visitor information, phone records and advisors’ notes, are necessary to investigate the day’s events. They should provide insight into Trump’s actions in the lead up to January 6 and the same day.
President Joe Biden previously decided that the documents, owned by the executive branch, were not a presentation privilege and that the National Archives could turn them over to Congress. Then Trump went to court.
A unique parliamentary need
However, the court agreed with Biden that “there is a unique parliamentary need for these documents, and they are directly relevant to the committee’s investigation into the attack on the legislature and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power.” The ruling is a setback for Trump in a legal battle with the commission over access to documents and witnesses.
The Court of Appeal, in agreement with a lower court, had ordered the National Archives to defer delivery of the documents while the case was being heard. Trump has two weeks to appeal to the US Supreme Court. There is a good chance that the former president will do so. The nine-member Supreme Court has a majority of six senior conservative justices, including three nominated by Trump.
Members of the investigation committee welcomed the ruling. “We will find the truth,” they said in a statement.
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