Jan. 6 Panel Wants Supreme Court to Scrap Trump Privilege Claim in Capitol Riot Probe
10:01 GMT 31.12.2021 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
© 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.
© AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana
Former US President Donald Trump is continuing to fight the 6 January House Select Committee in court, attempting to stop the Democrat-run probe from getting hold of his files kept in the US National Archives by arguing they are protected by executive privilege.
A US House Select Committee probing the 6 January Capitol riot has urged the Supreme Court to let stand a previous appeals court ruling that authorises the National Archives to turn over documents pertaining to former President Donald Trump.
Trump asked the Supreme Court last week to block the 6 January House Select Committee from obtaining the documents, citing executive privilege, the power of the US president, and for other officials in the executive branch to withhold certain forms of confidential communication from the courts.
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In a filing with the court on Thursday, the select committee’s lawyers argued that the panel is within its jurisdiction to seek the information related to the 45th president.
“Although the facts are unprecedented, this case is not a difficult one. This Court's review is unwarranted, and the petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied”, the lawyers pointed out.
The claims come after media reports said earlier this week that the 6 January committee had agreed to defer its attempt to get some Trump-related documents at the request of the Biden administration.
In a letter to the House panel dated 16 December and released by US media on Wednesday, White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote that "the documents for which the Select Committee has agreed to withdraw or defer its request do not appear to bear on the White House's preparations for or response to the events of 6 January, or on efforts to overturn the election or otherwise obstruct the peaceful transfer of power".
Su reportedly added that withholding the documents "should not compromise its [the committee's] ability to complete its critical investigation expeditiously".
An unnamed committee source has in the meantime been cited by CNN as saying that the panel plans to release an interim report containing its initial findings by this summer, while a final report is scheduled for the autumn of 2022.
Since the creation of the panel in July 2021, hundreds of witnesses, including Trump aides, have given testimonies during the committee's closed-door gatherings.
The 45th president has repeatedly dismissed the panel’s probe into the events of 6 January as a political sideshow and continuation of a "witch hunt" against him by Democrats and so-called "RINO" (Republican in Name Only) lawmakers.
On 6 January 2021, scores of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the results of what the 45th president slammed as "the most corrupt election" in American history. Five people died during the riots, and dozens more were injured, including at least 138 police officers.
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Trump held a rally on 6 January outside the White House, where he made a pledge to his supporters that he would not allow the election to be "stolen" from him.
Using his now-suspended Twitter account, the 45th president later urged his supporters "to stay peaceful" and "go home", recording a video address on 7 January condemning the violence. Trump was impeached for an unprecedented second time over accusations of "incitement of insurrection", but was then acquitted in the Senate.