The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Thursday unanimously denied former president Donald Trump’s effort to block the National Archives from turning over his White House records to the House of Representatives Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.
On January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the electoral college votes designating Joe Biden’s election. The attack left five dead, injured more than 140 people, and inflicted millions of dollars in damage to the Capitol.
As a result of the rampage, the House of Representatives established a Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack, and tasked the committee with uncovering the facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the attack. The Committee sent a request to the Archivist of the United States under the Presidential Records Act seeking presidential records pertaining to the events of January 6th, former President Trump’s claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and other related documents. Trump then requested a preliminary injunction to block the release of the documents.
On Thursday, Judge Patricia Millett, writing for the three-judge panel, rejected Trump’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking the National Archives and Records Administration from releasing 800 pages of disputed documents.
The panel refused to accept Trump’s claim that his executive privilege prevented the current administration from sharing the documents with the House Committee. “The former President has failed to establish a likelihood of success given President [Joe] Biden’s carefully reasoned and cabined determination that a claim of executive privilege is not in the interest of the United States, and therefore is not justified as to any of the documents.”
The Court of Appeals provided Trump with 14 days to ask the US Supreme Court to review the decision before the Archives could begin turning over the documents.