WASHINGTON (AP) – Lawyers for former President Donald Trump will try to convince a federal appeals court to bar Congress from receiving call logs, draft speeches and other documents related to the January 6 Capitol uprising led by his supporters.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday will hear arguments from Trump’s lawyers and a House committee who are requesting records as part of an investigation into the riot.
Trump’s lawyers want the court to overturn a federal judge’s decision, allowing the National Archives and Records Administration to hand over documents after President Joe Biden relinquished executive power. Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected Trump’s claims that he could have executive privileges over Biden, noting in part: “Presidents are not kings, and the plaintiff is not the president.” The Court of Appeal ruled to review the case administratively.
The Democratic presidents have appointed all three judges who will hear arguments on Tuesday. Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins were appointed by President Barack Obama, and Ketanji Brown Jackson was appointed by Biden.
Given the importance of the case, either party can appeal to the Supreme Court.
In their appeal to district court, Trump’s lawyers said they agree with Chutkan that presidents are not kings. “True, but in the same vein, Congress is not a parliament — a legislature with supreme and unrestricted constitutional power over government,” they wrote.
Trump argued that the tapes of his January 6 discussions should be hidden to protect executive privileges for future presidents, and that the Democratic-led House of Representatives is primarily driven by politics. House committee lawyers rejected these arguments and called Trump’s attempts to uphold executive privilege “unprecedented and deeply flawed.”
“It is difficult to imagine a more important subject for a Congressional investigation, and Mr. Trump’s arguments cannot overcome an urgent need for Congress,” the committee’s lawyers said.