President Donald Trump petitioned the Supreme Court to delay efforts by the January 6 select committee to access his White House records.
“The congressional request is untethered from any valid legislative purpose and exceeds the authority of Congress under the Constitution and the Presidential Records Act.,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in a petition.
Previously, Trump sued the January 6 committee and the National Archives to stop the White House from allowing the release of documents related to the insurrection.
A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia earlier this month denied Trump’s request to block the records, citing a “unique legislative need.” Last month, a federal judge also ruled against Trump.
The Supreme Court has now told the House committee, which is represented by the Department of Justice, to respond to Trump’s appeal in a written brief due by January 24, 2022. The Trump legal team would likely then reply in a final written brief, and then the court would schedule a date to decide whether to hear the appeal on the merits, with oral arguments.
Trump’s filing effectively pauses the committee’s efforts until the Supreme Court decides how to handle the case. The appeals court panel, in making its ruling, said it would delay the effect of its decision until the Supreme Court resolved whether to grant Trump’s injunction request.
Trump, in his bid for Supreme Court intervention, contends that the January 6 committee would eviscerate the principle of executive privilege, the constitutional ability presidents have to shield conversations with advisers from disclosure to other branches of government or the public.
Trump also takes aim at the January 6 committee itself, claiming it lacks a valid legislative purpose — an argument that the appeals court rejected — and that it is instead pursuing a political vendetta.
“The public comments of Committee members make it clear that the body is acting more like an inquisitorial tribunal than a legislative committee,” Trump’s attorneys Jesse Binnall and Justin Clark wrote. “Its members seek a ‘precise reconstruction of past events’ not because there are ‘specific legislative decisions that cannot reasonably be made without the information it seeks, but simply for the sake of the information itself.”