Federal appeals court temporarily halts release of US Capitol riot documents
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Federal appeals court temporarily halts release of US Capitol riot documents

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Thursday granted former President Donald Trump’s request to halt the release of documents related to the January 6 Capitol riots.

A three-judge panel, considering Trump’s emergency motion for an administrative injunction and expedited briefing schedule, granted the administrative injunction. This order temporarily enjoins the National Archives and Records Administration and the Archivist from releasing records, over which Trump asserted executive privilege, to the House Select Committee. The panel further granted an expedited briefing schedule, which means that oral arguments will now be heard on November 30.

In October, Trump filed suit against the House committee, the National Archives and Records Administration, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, and National Archivist David Ferriero, seeking to block the committee from obtaining documents related to the January 6 Capitol riot. Trump also sought to use the power of executive privilege to block the release of the documents, which White House Counsel Dana Remus rejected as “not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore . . . not justified.”

On Monday, Trump asked Judge Tanya Chutkan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia to issue an administrative stay preventing the National Archives from releasing over 750 pages of documents to the committee. Before she could rule on that motion, Trump filed a second motion asking the judge to stay the first motion. On Tuesday, Judge Chutkan denied the second motion as premature. On Tuesday, the House Select Committee also issued ten new subpoenas.

The National Archives had been scheduled to release about 70 pages of documents on Friday, as well as hundreds of more pages on November 26. However, it is unlikely that any of these documents will be released before oral arguments on November 30.