A federal judge in Washington has ruled that hundreds pages of White House records pertaining to Trump’s administration can be handed over to the House Committee investigating the attack on Capitol 6 January. This decision defies Donald Trump’s objections.
The US district judge Tanya Chutkan handed down the decision late Tuesday. However, Trump’s attorneys immediately promised to appeal the ruling.
“The court holds that the public interest lies in permitting – not enjoining – the combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to January 6,” Chutkan wrote in a 39-page opinion that delivered a major win to the select committee. The White House records at issue are the most sensitive. They include visitor logs, telephone records and other documents taken from the files of Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows. Also, Patrick Philbin, the former White House counsel, is involved.
In total, the National Archives has indicated Trump was invoking executive privilege protections to block the release of at least 750 pages of records that pertained to the select committee’s request in August for records about Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election. The Biden administration already waived executive privilege on all documents in the first tranche requested by the select panel. However, Trump sued the National Archives and the panel last month to stop their release. The
House has been following the records for several weeks. They are investigating the extent of Trump’s involvement in the Capitol Attack and whether he knew of the insurrection that left five people dead and 140 hurt.
The ruling from the US district court in Washington DC came after the select committee issued 10 new subpoenas to Trump administration officials, including Trump’s former senior adviser Stephen Miller and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
The subpoenas, which demand documents and testimony, are focused squarely on activities involving the White House and come a day after the select committee subpoenaed other top Trump associates who aimed to undercut the results of the 2020 election.
The select committee gave the 10 Trump officials until 23 November to comply with the document requests in the subpoena, with deposition dates scheduled through December. On Tuesday, it was unclear if any of the officials would cooperate.
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