Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit trying to get the National Archives to refuse to release his White House records, claiming executive privilege. Clearly, he was trying to stall the Committee’s investigation to run out the clock, hoping the House will lose its midterm elections, and then the Committee would dissolve.
It is not clear that how much weight a former president’s claims of privacy carry. The nonpartisan nonprofit government ethics and accountability watchdog organization, CREW, joined the White House’s brief and tweeted:
‘Trump shouldn’t be able to use executive privilege to block the Select Committee from getting answers about the insurrection. We’ve filed an amicus brief saying just that.’
CREW joined two White House attorneys, Richard Painter and Virginia Canter, by filing an amicus brief or supporting brief. It requested that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agree with a lower court’s opinion. It refused to halt the release of those records to the Select Committee.
A Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute Norm Eisen tweeted:
‘A president can’t take the Resolute desk with them when they leave office, and they can’t take executive privilege either! We explain in our bipartisan @statesunited brief As former gov. officials, we have to get to the bottom of Jan. 6:’
President Biden’s attorneys said that the “unique and extraordinary circumstances” surrounding Donald Trump’s supporters’ attempted coup made this situation extremely urgent. They added:
‘[Congress must] understand the facts underlying the most serious attack on the operations of the Federal Government since the Civil War.’
Law Professor and former Chief White House Ethics Attorney Richard Painter tweeted:
‘Our amicus brief opposing the former guy’s assertion of executive privilege is here. Just filed. CREW Files Amicus Brief in Trump’s Lawsuit Against Jan. 6 Committee – CREW | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’
The sitting president’s attorneys also claimed that Trump was attempting a coverup, which was “a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”
The Supreme Court has ruled that the current president in office has the right to constitutional privilege:
‘Former presidents retain only a limited right to assert executive privilege. If, however, there is a disagreement over whether to assert privilege, the sitting president’s views are entitled to greater weight, especially when the dispute involves the president’s duties under Article II of the Constitution.
Given the unusual situation surrounding this lawsuit, our current POTUS’ “constitutional judgment” outweighs the previous president’s claims of privilege.
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