Ex-Lawmakers Ask Judge to Block Trump Bid to Access White House Records in 6 January Probe

© AP Photo / Jose Luis MaganaIn this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S.
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.10.2021
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Former president Donald Trump has dismissed the House Select Committee’s probe into the 6 January unrest at the Capitol as a “sideshow” meant “to distract America” from the Biden administration’s “MASSIVE failures,” and has sued the committee over its efforts to subpoena records and testimony, accusing it of overreach.
42 former Democratic lawmakers and 24 of their 'Never-Trump' Republican counterparts have signed on to a legal brief to be presented before the Washington, DC federal District Court on Friday asking the judge in the case to reject the former president’s legal campaign to block access to White House records.

“From what is publicly known, it is clear that Donald Trump played an outsized – and likely central – role in orchestrating the events that gave rise to the January 6th attack,” the brief alleges. “And many, and perhaps most, of the various means he used or contemplated are documented in the records the Committee sees and are still not known,” it adds.

The appeal urges the Court to “deny [Trump’s] request for a preliminary injunction so that the Select Committee….can obtain the information it needs to do its work.”

Characterising Trump as an “autocrat” and “demagogue” and accusing him of “testing” America’s “constitutional system in ways that no prior occupant of the Office of President of the United States ever had,” the appeal charges him with the “abuse” of his “core presidential powers,” and claims that “Mr. Trump personally orchestrated the assault on our democracy.”

The letter was signed by a number of big name ex-Democratic lawmakers, including former senator Gary Hart, and former representatives Barney Frank and Frank Israel. GOP signatories include Carlos Curbelo, Reid Ribble, and Charles Boustany – all of whom criticized Trump ahead of and during his presidency.
Formed in July, the Democrat-dominated House select committee, which all but two never-Trump Republicans have boycotted, was created after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a similar probe in the upper chamber in the spring. The committee is the latest effort to cause irreversible damage to Trump’s standing and permanently bar him from politics after his January impeachment by House lawmakers in January was thrown out by the Senate.
Executive Privilege
The select committee has issued dozens of subpoenas for records and the testimony of senior former Trump administration officials in an effort to prove Trump’s role in the 6 January violence. Trump has promised to fight the subpoenas through the invocation of executive privilege –a legal right granted to presidents and former presidents from testifying in potentially politically-charged investigations.
Earlier this month, Trump launched a lawsuit against the select committee and the National Archives in a bid to block the release of requested records, citing their alleged “almost limitless” scope and lack of legislative purpose. The case is expected to appear before US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has convicted several protesters in the 6 January riots and attacked Trump directly over the Capitol unrest, on 4 November.
Screenshot captures an unidentified individual who participated in the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol. The individual is wanted by federal authorities fo assaulting law enforcement officials. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
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Last week, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was held in contempt of Congress after failing to appear before the select committee, with his case referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution. If convicted, Bannon could face a $100,000 fine, or up to one year in prison.
Bannon is one of over two dozen Trump allies subpoenaed to testify, with former chief of staff Mark Meadows, ex-communications aide Dan Scavino, former Pentagon official Kashyap Patel and organisers of the Stop the Steal rally held outside the White House on 6 January also summoned to speak to the select committee.
Thousands of Trump supporters convinced that the election had been stolen from the president stormed the Capitol complex on 6 January as Congress formally certified Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 vote. The unrest took place about 2 km from the White House, where Trump was holding a separate ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, and where he made promises not to give up the legal fight to contest election results.
The violence at the Capitol left five people dead, including a US Capitol Police officer and an Air Force veteran shot dead outside the House chamber by a cop.
Democrats immediately accused Trump of responsibility for the unrest. The former president maintains his innocence, and has pointed to his (since deleted) tweets urging protesters to “stay peaceful” and “go home.” Last week, a new book revealed that Trump allegedly “wanted to go down with the crowd” at the Capitol to try to “stop” supporters “from doing anything bad.”
U.S. President Donald Trump is seen on a screen speaking to supporters during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. Picture taken January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.10.2021
'I Wanted to Go Down With the Crowd': Trump Thinks He Would've Stopped Capitol Rioters, Book Reveals
Over 500 people have been charged with crimes connected to the 6 January violence, from trespassing and disruption of Congress to theft, weapons charges, threats and conspiracy. Thousands of National Guardsmen were deployed in Washington in the aftermath of the unrest, and stayed in the capital until well after Biden’s January inauguration.
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