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Trump asks Supreme Court to block Jan 6 docs release

In an emergency petition filed on Thursday by his lawyers, Trump argued that releasing White House documents and communications with senior staff set a bad precedent – a legal argument his team had unsuccessfully made in the lower court in the past. 

The petition is seeking a review of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to reject Trump’s request, which his lawyers argue gave the investigative congressional committee the “power” to “broadly seek the records of a prior presidential administration.” The ruling, they add, lacks “limiting principle.” The court argued, however, that Trump had provided “no basis” for there to be a legal rejection of the committee’s request. 

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The committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot had previously requested hundreds of pages of records they claim will help in their investigation into the riot, Trump’s alleged role, and how to prevent future similar incidents. 

The documents in question include communications with senior staff members, activity logs, speech notes, and more. Trump cited executive privilege when the documents were initially requested for retrieval from the National Archives. 

“They seek the president’s schedule, call logs, legal documents and briefing materials. They want to forage for information by reviewing every White House email concerning President Trump on Jan. 6, 2021. They even want campaign polling data dating to April 2020,” Trump’s lawyers had argued. 

The House committee’s investigation of the January 6 riot has become a controversial subject, with many Republicans arguing it is politically motivated and wasteful of government spending. Some Trump allies who have been ordered by the committee to testify, such as former White House strategist Steve Bannon and InfoWars founder Alex Jones, have refused to cooperate. Jones even recently filed a lawsuit against the committee and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California). 

Trump’s petition could lead to a temporary stay on the release of the documents, but four judges need to agree to actually hear the review before it can proceed.

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