A U.S. federal judge ruled against former President Donald Trump in a lawsuit attempting to block his White House documents from being obtained by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 rioting at the Capitol.
Attorneys for Trump argued that his documents from his one term as president should be protected by executive privilege despite current President Joe Biden refusing to extend that protection.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in the District of Columbia disagreed and ordered that the documents should be handed over from the National Archives to the committee requesting them.
The committee is seeking visitors logs, telephone records, and other White House documents.
Some Democrats have alleged that Trump had a role in the planning of the political demonstration that turned violent when some Trump supporters assaulted Capitol Police and vandalized the offices at the Capitol.
Trump had previously requested that Biden invoke executive privilege to keep the documents requested from the committee but the White House refused that request in early October.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the rioting at the Capitol constituted a “existential crisis” and a “test” of whether the nation could survive.
“It was, in many respects, a unique attack on the foundations of our democracy,” said Psaki in a media briefing at the time. “The president's dedicated to ensuring that something like that could never happen again, which is why the administration is cooperating with ongoing investigations, including the Jan. 6 select committee to bring to light what happened.”
A spokesperson for the former president released a scathing statement excoriating Democrats and the media over the committee's request for documents.
“The January 6th Committee is a partisan sham to distract Americans from the Democrats' policies that are killing and robbing Americans,” said director of communications Taylor Budowich in part.
“The Committee isn't seeking the truth,” he concluded, “it's seeking Communist-style political persecution of President Trump and the America First patriots who served their country honorably.”
The lawsuit said the documents would be released to the committee by Nov. 12 unless a judge intervened.
Here's more on the battle over Trump's Jan 6 documents:
Trump files lawsuit over Jan. 6 White House documents, cites “executive privilege”
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