After US District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied Trump’s request to hold White House records, from the on-going January 6 attack investigation on Tuesday, a panel of 3 judges appointed by Democrats have given Trump a minor victory by allowing a temporary pause on the release of those records to the US House of Representatives select committee investigating the matter.
The decision was made ahead of a Friday deadline, in which the select committee sought 46 initial White House records from the National Archives. This included visitor logs, call logs, speech drafts and multiple memos by Mark Meadows, former president Trump’s former chief of staff. The panel of judges included Biden appointed Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Obama appointed Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins.
A total of 700 documents from the White House records during Trump’s presidency were (still are) expected to be handed to the investigation committee in the January 6 probe. The current decision, in a two-page order said, “The purpose of this administrative injunction is to protect the court’s jurisdiction to address appellant’s claims of executive privilege and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits.”
Before the oral hearing on Nov. 30, the panel has also ordered the Biden administration, Trump and Congress to submit their briefs. Trump’s lawyers filed to keep the White House records secret claiming executive privilege as former president last month. Initially, Judge Tanya Chutkan denied Trump’s appeal twice saying, “a former President asserts executive privilege over records for which the sitting President has refused to assert executive privilege.”
Adding, “At bottom, this is a dispute between a former and incumbent President. And the Supreme Court has already made clear that in such circumstances, the incumbent’s view is accorded greater weight.”
The Trump attorney’s side has been trying their best to go around submitting the White House records leading up to the resurrection of January 6 at the US Capitol. The House committee investigating the attack urged the importance of a fair investigation, “The potential harm to the public is immense. Our democratic institutions and a core feature of our democracy – the peaceful transfer of power – are at stake.”