Politics|Trump Sues to Block Release of White House Papers to Jan. 6 Inquiry
The lawsuit raises caller law questions astir the scope of an ex-president’s enforcement privilege powers if the existent president disagrees.
Oct. 18, 2021, 5:30 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald J. Trump sued Congress and the National Archives connected Monday, seeking to artifact the disclosure of White House files related to his actions and communications surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In a 26-page complaint, a lawyer for Mr. Trump argued that the materials indispensable stay concealed arsenic a substance of enforcement privilege. They argued that the Constitution gives him the close to request their confidentiality adjacent though helium is nary longer successful bureau — and adjacent though President Biden has refused to asseverate enforcement privilege implicit them.
The suit touches disconnected what is apt to beryllium a large ineligible conflict betwixt Mr. Trump and the House committee investigating the attack, successful which a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol seeking to disrupt Congress’s counting of electoral votes to formalize Mr. Biden’s victory. Its result volition transportation consequences for however overmuch the sheet tin uncover astir the riot, and airs thorny questions for the Biden administration.
“In a governmental ploy to accommodate his partisan allies, President Biden has refused to asseverate enforcement privilege implicit galore intelligibly privileged documents requested by the committee,” Jesse R. Binnall, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, wrote successful his complaint.
The committee has demanded elaborate records astir Mr. Trump’s each question and meeting connected the time of the assault. The committee’s demands, sent to the National Archives and Records Administration, see immoderate worldly the medication has astir immoderate plans hatched wrong the White House oregon different national agencies to derail the Electoral College ballot number by Congress.
In a pair of letters this period to the National Archives, which is the custodian of White House papers from Mr. Trump’s tenure, Mr. Biden’s apical White House lawyer, Dana Remus, has made wide that the existent president does not deliberation a assertion of enforcement privilege is morganatic nether these circumstances.
“The law protections of enforcement privilege should not beryllium utilized to shield, from Congress oregon the public, accusation that reflects a wide and evident effort to subvert the Constitution itself,” Ms. Remus wrote.
Mr. Trump’s suit names arsenic defendants Representative Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who is president of the peculiar House committee investigating the attack, and David S. Ferriero, the caput of the National Archives.