Supreme Court allows release of Trump White House docs to January 6 committee

Donald Trump can’t block the release of White House documents about the 6 January riot at the US Capitol, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The House committee investigating the insurrection has been battling the former president for access to the records, which include diaries and visitor logs.

Mr Trump had argued the materials, now stored in the National Archives, should be kept confidential under executive privilege.

In October, the Biden administration declined to exercise executive privilege over the records, clearing the way for them to eventually be released, prompting a challenge from Mr Trump.

A month later, a federal court ruled against the former president’s efforts to block the release, a decision affirmed by a federal appeals court in December.

“The questions whether and in what circumstances a former President may obtain a court order preventing disclosure of privileged records from his tenure in office, in the face of a determination by the incumbent president to waive the privilege, are series and substantial concerns,” the Supreme Court wrote of its near-unanimous decision on Wednesday.

However, the ruling added that “because the Court of Appeals concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former President necessary made no different to the court’s decision.”

Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissent against the decision to allow the records to be released.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, meanwhile, added an explanatory note to his yes vote, arguing that generally speaking, “a former President must be able to successfully invoke the Presidential communications privilege for communications that occurred during his Presidency, even if the current President does not support the privilege claim. Concluding otherwise would eviscerate the executive privilege for Presidential communications.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information.


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