(PatriotWise.com)- Last month, the White House formally blocked an attempt by former President Donald Trump to withhold subpoenaed documents from the January 6 Select Committee.
In a letter to the National Archives, Biden’s White House Counsel Dana Remus wrote that President Biden determined that the assertion of Executive Privilege in this instance is not in the best interests of the United States, concluding that it is not justified concerning any of the documents requested.
Unsurprisingly, the White House’s actions paved the way for a court battle between the former President and the January 6 committee.
In a hearing last Thursday, Judge Tanya Chutkan pressed Trump’s attorneys on why the former president believes he has the right to control public access to the hundreds of pages of records requested by the January 6 select committee.
President Trump is requesting the DC District Court block the National Archives from turning over more than 700 pages of documents to the committee. He argues that the investigation is illegitimate and, as a former president, he should be able to review the records and decide which ones they can receive.
His attorneys are also asking that the court review each document – a request Judge Chutkan found absurd. She told the former president’s attorneys that such a request would take years.
The hearing may be a potentially historic turning point in the ongoing legal question about the authority of a former president, the House’s investigative powers, and the reach of executive privilege.
Chutkan also challenged the House Democrats’ lawyer on the sheer number of documents requested by the committee, calling the subpoena “alarmingly broad.” President Trump has argued that the broad nature of the subpoena indicated that this was nothing more than a fishing expedition on the part of the select committee.
Chutkan said that while Congress has broad authority to demand documents, “there has to be some limit.”
No matter how Chutkan rules, there is bound to be an appeal – either by Trump or by the select committee. As it is, the clock is ticking. The Select Committee will have to disband when the new Congress is sworn in at the beginning of 2023 – no matter which party gains control of the House.
The National Archives is set to turn over the documents on November 12, unless Chutkan or an appeals court orders otherwise.