A federal appeals court denied former President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to stop the release of a trove of documents related to his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Hundreds of internal White House documents related to the planning of and response to the riot at the Capitol were expected to be released to a House select committee in November before Trump filed an appeal to block the records and put a pause on the release.
Trump has previously cited executive privilege as his basis for blocking the documents, even though he is no longer president. President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has declined to assert his own executive privilege on most of Trump’s record.
In their Thursday ruling rejecting Trump’s latest appeal, three judges with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said Trump “provided no basis for this court to override President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents.”
“Both Branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s inquiry into an attack on the Legislative Branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power,” the court added.
Trump’s latest appeal was unlikely to succeed among the judges, who questioned Trump’s lawyers during oral arguments last month, Politico reported.
“We have one president at a time under our Constitution,” said Patricia Millett, one of the three judges on the D.C. Circuit panel that heard the arguments. “That incumbent president … has made the judgment and is best positioned, as the Supreme Court has told us, to make that call as to the interests of the executive branch.”
Trump will now have two weeks to appeal his case to the Supreme Court.