The House committee panel tasked to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol asked the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump's request to block the release of records from his administration.
A court brief was filed on Thursday by attorneys from the select committee in an effort to counter Trump's claim of executive privilege over a number of records that congressional investigators say are necessary parts of the inquiry into the riot at the Capitol.
"The Select Committee urgently needs the documents at issue to inform its forthcoming hearings and reports," attorneys for the committee wrote, noting the panel's authorization will "expire on Jan. 3, 2023," and that any delay "handicaps" the investigation's efforts.
The move follows a request from Trump on Wednesday for the Supreme Court to consider a Washington Post interview with Jan. 6 committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, in which the lawmaker said his panel's investigation could "warrant" a recommendation to the Justice Department to pursue Capitol riot-related charges against him. The former president argued the select committee is overreaching its authority.
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The House made similar arguments in a separate filing opposing Trump’s Supreme Court motion for a stay of the appeals court ruling that rejected his effort.
“The investigation is indispensable to the Select Committee’s ability to propose remedial measures to ensure the peaceful transfer of power and prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions," attorneys wrote.
Trump petitioned to the Supreme Court last week after federal courts in Washington, D.C., denied his request to block the National Archives from sending records to congressional officials as part of the investigation.
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Lower courts focused on President Joe Biden's motion against allowing executive privilege over the former president's call logs, emails, scheduling plans, and other documents requested as part of the investigation. Biden decided against doing so in an effort to meet the House panel's need for its inquiry but limited the scope over any possible benefit to keeping the records sealed.