Judge Rejects Trump’s Overnight Call to Block Jan. 6 Records Transfer

Judge Rejects Trump's Overnight Call to Block Jan. 6 Records Transfer donald trump speaks into mic (Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 09 November 2021 08:08 AM

A federal judge early Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump's emergency request for an administrative stay of a ruling to prevent the National Archives from turning over sensitive records to the House special committee investigating the Jan. 6 events at the Capitol, saying the demand is "premature" and legally defective as she hasn't yet issued her response.

Trump's attorneys filed the request late Monday night, and a few minutes past midnight, Judge Tanya Chutkan turned it down, in an exchange that took just a few hours, reports Politico.

Last month, Trump sued to block the National Archives from surrendering the records after President Joe Biden refused to assert executive privilege for him. The Archives has said it will turn over the documents by 6 p.m. Friday unless it is stopped by a court.

Trump is trying to block at least 750 pages out of 1,500 that had been discovered in response to the committee's request for records, according to the Archives. The documents include files from the former president's senior aides, including Mark Meadows, Stephen Miller, and Patrick Philbin, as well as visitor logs and call records.

In Monday night's request, Trump attorney Jesse Binnall asked Chutkan to approve an "administrative stay" because that would allow the former president the opportunity to appeal the decision before the Archives starts delivering the records to the committee's investigators, reports Politico.

He also warned Chutkin that if Trump's first request didn't have a ruling by Wednesday, he'd call on the appeals court to intervene.

"This case should be decided after thorough but expeditious consideration pursuant to America’s judicial review process, both before this Court and on appeal, not by a race against the clock," Binnall wrote in his request.

Chutkan said she'll consider Binnall's request after she issues her ruling on the first request, which she promised will happen "expeditiously." She added that federal rules will only allow a stay while an appeal is pending, not before it happens.

Last week, Chutkan heard arguments and promised she'd rule quickly on his first emergency request, but she questioned the legal basis that a former president would have for claiming executive privilege when both a current president and members of Congress don't agree.

Legal experts told Politico that judges can't block rulings they have not issued yet and that Chutkan is already facing an urgent timeline on Trump's first request. They also questioned the threat to seek a ruling from the appeals court before Chutkan's ruling has been made.

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