The court’s ruling means more than 700 documents will be passed to Congress that could shed light on the events leading up to the uprising as hundreds of troublemakers gathered at the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Only Judge Clarence Thomas said publicly that he would have complied with former President Donald Trump’s request to block the transfer of documents from the National Archives to the House’s select committee.
No other judges published an objection.
The White House in Biden supports the release of the records to the committee after stating that the publication is in the nation’s best interest and has refused to assert executive privileges.
The selection committee is looking for more than 700 pages of controversial documents as it examines Trump’s role in trying to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.
That includes his appearance at a January 6 meeting in which he instructed supporters to go to the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers were set to certify election results and “fight” for their county.
The documents include activity logs, schedules, speech notes and three pages of handwritten notes from then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, paperwork that could reveal what was going on inside the West Wing when Trump supporters gathered in Washington and then drowned the Capitol. which disrupted the certification of the 2020 vote.
Trump is also seeking to keep secret a draft proclamation in honor of two police officers who died during the siege, and notes and other documents on alleged election fraud and efforts to overturn Trump’s loss of the presidency, the National Archives has said in court documents.
The House Committee, the White House, the National Archives and Trump’s lawyers have not responded to CNN inquiries about the Supreme Court ruling.
The movement effectively speaks to former Trump’s pending appeal in the case, which focused on keeping the documents secret. Trump’s lawyers say the documents are sensitive and privileged records.
“The disagreement between a sitting president and his predecessor from a rival political party is both new and highlights the importance of executive privileges and the ability of presidents and their advisers to reliably provide and receive complete and honest advice without worrying that communication will be public. “released to meet a political goal,” Trump’s lawyer, Jesse R. Binnall, told the judges.
He stressed that Congress had no valid legislative purpose in requesting the documents.
“Congress must not search a former president’s confidential presidential papers to meet political objections,” Mr Binnall added.
But the Biden administration argued that withholding records based on executive privileges is not in U.S. interest.
Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar said that in light of the “extraordinary events” on January 6, President Biden had ruled that an allegation of executive privilege “is not justified.”
A federal appeals court ruled against Trump, stating that he “has not provided grounds for this court to override President Biden’s ruling and the agreement and adjustments made between the political chambers on these documents.”
The court noted that the events “marked the most significant attack on the Capitol since the war of 1812”, but agreed to freeze its decision until the Supreme Court acted.
“During any of the tests advocated by former President Trump, the profound interests in the revelation put forward by President Biden and the committee on Jan. 6 far exceed his general concerns about the confidentiality of the Executive Branch,” the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC wrote. Circuit. .
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court cited part of that ruling.
“Because the appellate court concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed, even if he were the incumbent, his status as former president did not necessarily make any difference to the court’s decision,” the Supreme Court said.
Tonight’s decision is a major setback for former President Trump in his efforts to block the National Archives from submitting documents to the committee on Jan. 6, “said Steve Vladeck, CNN’s Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
“Although the judges did not rule on whether the appellate court correctly dismissed his case, by not blocking the transfer now, the judges have allowed that decision to be the last word.”
January 6: The day that rattled American democracy
Consequences for the House study
The Supreme Court ruling is a major blow to Trump at a time when the select committee is gaining ground while gathering information from hundreds of witnesses and communications providers.
It could also send a signal to other witnesses that they have very little ability to challenge January 6-related subpoenas due to executive privileges, potentially opening up the possibility for more former White House officials to testify.
The Supreme Court left unresolved key questions about a former president’s ability to invoke executive privileges, allegations that Trump’s top advisers have used to deny or wait to testify before the House.
Currently, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadow is challenging the committee’s summons on Jan. 6, in part because he said questions about Trump’s ability to assert privileges in the investigation as former president remain unresolved.
He also faces a five-week-old criminal contempt referral from the House to the Justice Department, though the DOJ has not filed any criminal charges.
The DC Circuit’s statement in the Trump case last month undermined some of Mr. Meadows ‘arguments, but now the Supreme Court has scaled down the scope of this appeal statement, saying that DC Circuits’ discussion of his status as former president is not a binding precedent. .
Judge Brett Kavanaugh alone said he agreed with the court’s decision to reject Trump’s request, noting that the order was not based on Trump’s status as former president.
But in a statement accompanying the court’s decision, the Trump candidate said he did not agree with a proposal by the Court of Appeal that a former president should not invoke privilege over documents that took place during his presidency.
“I respectfully disagree with the Court of Appeal on that point,” Mr Kavanaugh said.
“A former president must be able to successfully invoke the president’s communication privilege for communications that took place during his presidency, even if the current president does not support the claim of privilege,” he said.
Sir. Kavanaugh added, however, that saying that a former president can invoke privileges over such communications “does not mean that the privilege is absolute or cannot be overcome.”