Donald Trump’s lawyer on Thursday asked a federal judge to block the transmission of thousands of documents to Congress about the former president’s actions in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, but the judge did not appear to be convinced of her arguments.
The Republican billionaire wants to keep these documents secret, including lists of people who visited or contacted him that day, a parliamentary commission claims.
This House “Special Committee” was formed to assess the role played by Donald Trump in the attack led by his supporters on the congressional seat, when elected officials confirmed Joe Biden’s victory.
Donald Trump, who denies any responsibility for the attack, has denounced it as a “political game” and refuses to cooperate. He went to court in the name of the executive branch’s privilege to keep his communications confidential, even in the event of subpoena by Congress.
“Previous presidents are entitled to invoke this privilege,” his attorney, Justin Clark, argued Thursday at a Washington hearing.
But Judge Tanya Chutkan responded, “The best person to judge whether the executive’s jurisdiction applies to the executive branch or not,” noting that current White House tenant Joe Biden had authorized the National Archives to turn over these documents to Congress.
“We’re not talking about bank statements or accounting records for your client before he became president (…) but about notes on his exchanges when people smashed windows and entered the Capitol,” she said, referring to past legal battles.
“We are talking about documents that are essentially related to the exercise of power,” Judge Schotkan said.
However, I gave the lawyer a waiver on the number of documents requested: “I agree with you (…) Some of the requests seem very vague, but others are very specific to the events of January 6th.”
At the end of the hearing, the judge promised to issue her decision “quickly”.
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