D.C. Circuit Rejects Trump Effort to Block Release of Documents to January 6 Committee
This afternoon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected former President Donald Trump’s request for a preliminary injunciton barring hte Archivist from turning over documents requested by the Congressional committee investigating the events of January 6 and Trump’s effort to subject the outcome of the 2020 election. Without question the former President will now seek an injunction from the Supreme Court. While such a move might further delay the release of documents, I do not think Trump will ultimately prevail.
Judge Millett wrote the court’s 68-page opinion in Trump v. Thompson, joined by Judges Wilkins and Jackson. Interestingly enough, the court decided to issue this opinion on a Thursday afternoon, only ten days after the case was argued, rather than wait to release the opinion in the normal course tomorrow. (The D.C. Circuit generally releases opinions on Tuesday and Friday mornings.)
On first-skim, the opinion seems correct. The former President’s executive privilege claim here is particularly weak, given both the subject matter of the material sought and the current President’s conclusion that executive privilege does not and should not bar the release of these documents. Further, the congressional interest in these documents is strong, and certainly far greater than it was for the former President’s personal financial records.
Here is how Judge Millett summarizes the key issues and the court’s conclusions:
The central question in this case is whether, despite the exceptional and imperative circu
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