The former President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block the National Archives from handing over his White House records to the House committee investigating the January 6 riots.
The Hill reported that attorneys representing Trump filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court asking for a review imposed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had rejected the suit earlier in December. Thursday was the deadline for Trump’s lawyers to file this petition, and they argued that the prior ruling could set a bad precedent when it comes to future disputes about the records of former presidents.
“The D.C. Circuit’s opinion endorsed the power of a congressional committee to broadly seek the records of a prior Presidential administration and, as long as the incumbent President agrees to waive executive privilege, gain unfettered access to confidential communications of that administration,” Trump’s filing reads.
“This troubling ruling lacks any meaningful or objective limiting principle,” it continues. “In an increasingly partisan political climate, such records requests will become the norm regardless of what party is in power. Consequently, this Court’s review is critical.”
This comes two months after Trump filed a lawsuit against the National Archives and the select committee in response to President Joe Biden waiving executive privilege over hundreds of pages of records the committee had requested as they continued to probe Trump’s handling of the riot. The case has since moved through lower courts fast, with both a district court judge and a three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit rejecting the arguments posed by Trump’s legal team.
“On the record before us, former President Trump has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote in the D.C. Circuit decision earlier this month.
Trump’s lawyers claim that Biden has violated the Constitution with his disregard of the former president’s own assertions of executive privilege. In today’s filing, they called on the Supreme Court to put a halt to the document release so that the justices will have time to consider the legal and constitutional questions that the case presents.
“The disagreement between an incumbent President and his predecessor from a rival political party is both novel and highlights the importance of executive privilege and the ability of Presidents and their advisers to reliably make and receive full and frank advice, without concern that communications will be publicly released to meet a political objective,” they argued.