The Supreme Court rejected a bid by former President Donald Trump to block access to hundreds of pages of his administration’s records from being given to the January 6 House Committee.
Supreme Court rejects effort by Trump to block records from Congress
The Supreme Court has rejected a legal effort from a former President, Donald Trump, to block the National Archives from handing over hundreds of pages of documents, from his tenure in the White House, to the January 6 committee, The Hill reported.
The court’s ruling came in an unsigned, one-paragraph order.
As a result of the court’s ruling, over 700 documents will be transferred to the committee in Congress investigating the January 6, 2021 incursion of the US capitol, CNN reported.
Committee received records immediately
Hours after the ruling, the Congressional investigative committee said it had begun receiving records from the National Archives, including emails, call logs, schedules, and several other requested documents.
“Our work goes forward to uncover all the facts about the violence of January 6 and its causes,” Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) said in a joint statement, calling the Supreme Court ruling “a victory for the rule of law and American democracy” and calling their work on the committee an effort “to ensure nothing like that day ever happens again.”
Records can still be released, even though Supreme Court still considering Trump’s appeal
Even though the move by the Supreme Court cleared the way for the National Archives to hand over a batch of Trump-era documents to congressional investigators, the legal case is not finished or decided.
Despite the conservative majority Supreme Court, the body allowed the handover of records, while still deciding, without a deadline, whether to take up Trump’s appeal, after two lower courts ruled against him.
In October, Trump filed a lawsuit seeking to block the archives from revealing the documents, which he argued should be shielded by executive privilege, NBC reported.
The justices acknowledged the unprecedented dispute between a former president and lawmakers raised “serious and substantial concerns.” However, the court also said the Washington, D.C.-based federal “Court of Appeals concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former President necessarily made no difference to the court’s decision.”
Speaking on record, Justice Clarence Thomas was the only conservative member of the Supreme Court to say it should have granted the motion to Trump to block the national archives from giving the material to the January 6 committee while the case was still under review.