Trump Urges Appeals Court to Reverse Ruling Allowing Jan. 6 Panel WH Records

Trump Urges Appeals Court to Reverse Ruling Allowing Jan. 6 Panel WH Records Trump Urges Appeals Court to Reverse Ruling Allowing Jan. 6 Panel WH Records Former President Donald Trump. (Scott Olson/Getty)

By Charlie McCarthy | Tuesday, 16 November 2021 04:18 PM

Former President Donald Trump's lawyers on Tuesday asked an appeals court to overturn a judge's ruling that would allow White House records to be given to the House Jan. 6 select committee.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Thursday declined to put on hold her ruling from earlier last week allowing Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan committee to obtain records from the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Hill reported that Trump's legal team filed a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and argued that Chutkan's ruling essentially was a "rubber stamp" for the committee and would upend the balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

"The stakes in this case are high," the filing reads, The Hill reported. "A decision upholding the Committees' request to NARA would have enormous consequences, forever changing the dynamics between the political branches.

"It is naive to assume that the fallout will be limited to President Trump or the events of January 6, 2021. Every Congress will point to some unprecedented thing about 'this President' to justify a request for his presidential records.

"In these hyper-partisan times, Congress will increasingly and inevitably use this new weapon to perpetually harass its political rival."

Following Chutkan's ruling Thursday, Trump quickly appealed and secured a temporary injunction from the D.C. circuit just a day before NARA had been scheduled to give the committee hundreds of pages of documents.

The House select committee comprised of Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., is investigating events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol.

Trump's lawyers have argued that the committee's records request is too broad and the Biden administration's refusal to honor the former president's claim of executive privilege infringes on his constitutional rights.

Chutkan, appointed by then-President Barack Obama, ruled that Trump, as a former president, has little power to interfere in such an exchange between the sitting president and Congress.

"The legislative and executive branches believe the balance of equities and public interest are well served by the Select Committee’s inquiry," Chutkan wrote. "The court will not second guess the two branches of government that have historically negotiated their own solutions to congressional requests for presidential documents."

Trump's lawyers told the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday that future presidents could be targeted by invasive congressional harassment if Chutkan's decision were to stand.

"If the Committee's request is upheld, there would be no limitation on the presidential records Congress could review," they wrote in the filing, The Hill said.

"Adopting the district court’s novel rule would allow Congress to give itself the power to investigate and undermine the authority of both the Executive Branch and Judicial Branch of the federal government. This would upend any notion of separate and co-equal branches of government."

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