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Supreme Court rejects Trump’s bid to shield January 6 records, bringing end to legal battle

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away former President Donald Trump’s legal fight with the House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, bringing an end to the former president’s quest to stop investigators from accessing reams of documents from his final weeks in the White House.

 

 

Trump asked the high court in December to take up his appeal of a decision from the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, which rejected his efforts to shield the documents from lawmakers and found Trump provided “no basis” for it to override President Biden’s decision not to uphold his predecessor’s claims of executive privilege over the records.

 

 

In rejecting the former president’s request, the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit remains in place.

 

 

In addition to asking the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision, the former president requested the justices stop the transfer of records from the National Archives and Records Administration to House investigators. They declined to do so last month, and the select committee received more than 700 pages of records sought by the panel earlier this month.

 

 

At issue in the legal fight between the former president and the House select committee were reams of records related to the events of January 6, including presidential diaries, visitor logs, handwritten notes from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, binders from then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and a draft executive order on election integrity, according to a filing from the National Archives.

 

 

Trump asserted executive privilege over more than 750 pages of these documents, which were at the crux of his lawsuit against the National Archives and select committee. But Mr. Biden declined to uphold the former president’s claims of executive privilege over the documents sought by the panel, and Trump filed suit in October to prevent their disclosure.

 

 

Since its formation last year, the committee examining the events surrounding the January 6 attack on the Capitol has interviewed more than 475 witnesses and obtained over 60,000 documents, according to an aide to the panel.

Investigators have issued dozens of subpoenas as part of their probe, including ones to Trump’s allies, former White House officials, campaign aides and individuals involved in the planning of the rally outside the White House before the Capitol building came under siege. Two top Trump allies, Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas, and the Justice Department has charged Bannon. Both cited Trump’s claims of privilege for not complying.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois who sits on the panel, told “Face the Nation” on Sunday he expects the committee will begin public hearings in the spring or summer.

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