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Tipsheet

Jan. 6 Select Committee Weighs in to Ask Supreme Court to Deny Trump Request to Block Records

AP Photo/LM Otero

Last Thursday attorneys for former President Donald Trump requested that the U.S. Supreme Court step in to block the National Archives from releasing records from the Trump administration from January 6. One week later, the select committee investigating January 6 has weighed in to ask the Court to reject such a request.

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John Kruzel with The Hill highlighted portions of a court brief filed on Thursday:

“The Select Committee’s work is of the highest importance and urgency: investigating one of the darkest episodes in our nation’s history, a deadly assault on the United States Capitol and Congress, and an unprecedented disruption of the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next,” they wrote. 

“The investigation is indispensable to the Select Committee’s ability to propose remedial measures to ensure the peaceful transfer of power and prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions.”

...

The committee, which has urged the justices to consider the matter no later than mid-January, said delaying transfer of the records would cause “irreparable harm.”

“Indeed, the Select Committee’s investigation has already been negatively impacted: With each passing day, the Select Committee is being forced to conduct its investigation, including interviewing witnesses, without the benefit of the key documents at issue in this case.

The U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar also filed a brief on behalf of Archivist David Ferriero "in opposition to the application for a stay of the mandate and an injunction pending certiorari and any further proceedings in this Court."

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Trump had not only asked the Supreme Court to block the records, but for the Court to grant cert in deciding the matter. The former president has continuously claimed executive privilege. President Joe Biden had waived such privilege, though, which Prelogar referenced in her brief.

"After careful consideration and in light of the extraordinary events of January 6, President Biden concluded that granting the Committee access to those records is in the best interests of the United States and that an assertion of executive privilege therefore is not justified," the brief noted in part.

"But the Constitution vests the Executive power in the incumbent President, who is best positioned to make those assessments. And President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege over the specific records at issue here is not in the interests of the Nation," Prelogar's brief later wrote. "A judicial decision allowing a former President to override that considered judgment would be an unprecedented intrusion on the incumbent President’s Article II authority."

Prelogar's brief repeatedly pointed out that Trump had lost in the lower courts. 

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While the Twitter account for the select committee has not commented on their brief as of Thursday night, the account did retweet Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chair and one of two Republicans on the committee, the other being Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). Both were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Rep. Cheney's tweet reaffirmed that the select committee is equally seeking records from the Trump administration. "In fact, we’re actively litigating to obtain White House records Trump is trying to conceal. We will not allow him to hide the truth about January 6th, or his conduct, from the American people," her tweet reads.

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