Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to block the release of White House records that are being sought by the House Jan. 6 select committee.
The request from the House Select Committee, which is led by Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), is “exceedingly broad” and an “unprecedented encroachment on executive privilege,” Trump’s lawyers argued on Thursday. President Joe Biden previously declined to invoke executive privilege over the disputed records.
Trump asked the justices to fully review the case and place a hold on a lower court decision that allowed the disclosure of the documents.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit earlier this month rejected Trump’s bid for executive privilege. But the U.S. appeals court also granted Trump’s request to temporarily halt the release of the documents.
“The limited interest the Committee may have in immediately obtaining the requested records pales in comparison to President Trump’s interest in securing judicial review before he suffers irreparable harm,” Trump’s lawyers wrote Thursday.
In arguing that executive privilege is warranted, his lawyers said (pdf) Trump “is more than an ordinary citizen” due to his prior role as president. “He is one of only five living Americans who, as former Presidents, are granted special authority to make determinations regarding the disclosure of records and communications created during their terms of office.”
Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, in November also ruled against Trump and wouldn’t block the disclosure of records to the committee.
Chutkan wrote at the time that Trump’s arguments appear “to be premised on the notion that his executive power ’exists in perpetuity’ … but presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”
Around the same time, Chutkan also denied a request by one of Trump’s lawyers to prevent the U.S. National Archives from handing over documents to the congressional probe.
In a separate statement on Thursday, Trump criticized the House Jan. 6 panel by describing it as the “unselect committee.”
“The people being persecuted by the January 6th Unselect Committee should simply tell the truth,” the former commander-in-chief said. “People are entitled to Freedom of Speech, and perhaps there has been no time in our Country’s history where Freedom of Speech has been so totally violated.”
The legal filing comes several days after a district judge dismissed retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s request for a temporary restraining order to block a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee.
The Epoch Times has contacted the House Jan. 6 committee for comment.