A US congressional committee investigating the events of the January 6 storm from the Capitol will have access to 770 pages of documents that former President Donald Trump wanted to keep secret.
A judge in Washington, D.C. decided that. Her decision formally applies that she does not intend to take a stand on the issue of Trump’s request for classified documents, call records and handwritten notes from the White House since around the time of the congressional storm.
“This is essentially a dispute between a former president and a current president. The Supreme Court has already made it clear that on such occasions, the opinions of the current president are most important,” Justice Tanya Chutkan wrote, according to the Washington Post.
“The Court considers that it is in the public interest to permit—not prevent—the combined will of the Legislature (Congress) and the Executive Branch (the President) to investigate the events leading up to and occurring on January 6,” he wrote.
Thus, the documents can be released to Congress, and, according to the court, this must be done no later than November 12. However, Trump’s lawyers have appealed the ruling.
The documents in question are notes from Trump’s closest confidants, notes by the White House press secretary and drafts of a speech the then president gave before storming Congress.
“not a king”
The former president’s legal representatives filed a lawsuit in federal court in October after the House Special Committee to investigate the attack asked Congress to hand over documents and lists of calls from the days surrounding the riots.
There, Trump opposes the committee’s request for access to the documents, stating that they include documents unrelated to January 6. He also called for “executive privilege”, that is, legal protection that includes the power of the presidency.
Judge Schutkan’s response:
His (Trump) position that he can place himself above the express will of the executive appears to be based on the idea that his “executive privilege” lasts forever. But chiefs are not kings and the respondent is not chief.”
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