Former US President Donald Trump has initiated legal action to stop the National Archives from releasing documents relating to the Jan 6 riot at the Capitol building to the select committee investigating the insurrection.
In a suit filed on Monday at a DC District Court, Trump is demanding executive privilege, which is a prerogative granted to the president and other executive branch officials to withhold some confidential communications from the legislative branch and courts.
The suit essentially challenges President Joe Biden’s refusal to assert executive privilege on behalf of Trump, who was hoping to trigger the clause and prevent the select committee from obtaining the first batch of the documents on the Jan 6 insurrection.
Trump, in his suit, claims that President Biden’s refusal to assert executive privilege and protect the documents is “a political ploy to accommodate his partisan allies.”
The suit argues that the House’s request for the documents is “unprecedented in their breadth and scope and are untethered from any legitimate legislative purpose.”
Trump’s suit further argues that the Presidential Records Act is unconstitutional if it is “read so broadly as to allow an incumbent President unfettered discretion to waive the previous President’s executive privilege, mere months following an administration change.”
According to a statement by Taylor Budowich, the communications director for Trump and his Save America PAC: The ex-president “filed a lawsuit in defense of the Constitution, the Office of the President, and the future of our nation, all of which the sham Unselect Committee is trying to destroy.”
“The fact is America is under assault by (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi’s Communist-style attempt to silence and destroy America First patriots through this hyper-partisan and illegitimate investigation,’ the statement said.
Following Biden’s refusal to assert executive privilege and protect the documents from being released as part of the committee’s investigation, it is understood that the National Archives will forward the marked documents to the committee by early November.
Constituted in June to probe the Jan 6 insurrection, the committee requested “all documents and communications within the White House” on January 6.
The initial batch requested includes records of Trump’s actions and communications on the day of the riot, his rally calling on supporters to fight the election results, as well as other meetings he had.
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