Judge rejects Trump bid to withhold records

Judge rejects Trump bid to withhold records
Stephen Miller, Kayleigh McEnany and Mark Meadows, who was summoned last month. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: A US judge has ruled a congressional committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot can access some of former President Donald Trump’s White House records.

Mr Trump, a Republican, had sought to invoke executive privilege, under which presidential documents can be kept secret.

The inquiry is trying to find out if the former president had prior knowledge of the riot.

Supporters of Mr Trump stormed the Capitol building on 6 January as Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Mr Trump has refused to accept the election result last year, claiming – without evidence – that it had been rigged.

The inquiry in the riot is being conducted by a committee set up by the House of Representatives which is dominated by Democrats.

The panel wants to see a trove of visitor logs, phone records and other White House documents that could shed some light on the events leading up to the attack on Congress.

The investigating committee has issued summonses to several Trump aides to testify before the lawmakers.

Donald Trump had argued his White House communications were protected and as such shouldn’t be released.

But Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that the National Archives, the federal agency that holds the records, should comply with the panel’s request.

Judge Chutkan said in a 39-page ruling, that Congress had the right to see the documents, particularly as the current president had agreed.

The judge wrote that Mr Trump “does not acknowledge the deference owed to the incumbent president’s judgment. His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity. But presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president.”

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