Trump asks appeals court to block records being sent to Jan. 6 Congressional committee

The appeals court has fast-tracked Trump's appeal with oral arguments scheduled for Nov. 30

Updated: November 16, 2021 - 7:03pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked an appeals court to overturn a lower court's ruling that allows the National Archives to provide Trump White House documents to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

According to The Hill, the lawyers argued that last week's ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan provides Congress with "unfettered access to presidential records," which could potentially upend the balance of powers between the two branches.

"The stakes in this case are high," Trump attorneys Jesse Binnall and Justin Clark wrote in their brief. "A decision upholding the Committee's request to NARA would have enormous consequences, forever changing the dynamics between the political branches. It is naive to assume that the fallout will be limited to President Trump or the events of January 6, 2021. Every Congress will point to some unprecedented thing about 'this President' to justify a request for his presidential records."

The attorneys went on to say that the court needs to look at potential political motives behind the committee's request.

"In these hyper-partisan times, Congress will increasingly and inevitably use this new weapon to perpetually harass its political rival," the attorneys warned. 

Trump's lawyers also argued that the records request is far too broad, and the documents in question are protected by executive privilege and should not be released to Congress. 

Chutkan ruled last week that matters concerning executive privilege should be left up to the incumbent president.

"The plaintiff does not acknowledge the deference owed to the incumbent president’s judgment. His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity,’" Chutkan wrote in her opinion. "But presidents are not kings, and the plaintiff is not president."

The appeals court has fast-tracked Trump's appeal with oral arguments scheduled for Nov. 30.

Just the News Spotlight