A US federal appeals court Thursday handed a major victory to the select committee in the House of Representatives investigating the events on and surrounding January 6, 2021 when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in a bid to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election win. Amid scenes of violence that shocked America and the world, five people eventually died and scores were injured.
The federal appeals court therefore denied former President Donald Trump’s bid to block the release of some of his White House records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The dispute arose when the House committee investigating the Capitol attack asked the National Archives for records showing President Donald J. Trump’s communications and movements leading up to and during the crisis.
The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court’s decision that a tranche of Trump White House records can be provided to the Democratic-led committee.
“On the record before us, former President Trump has 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,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote in the ruling. “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 said it will leave in place its temporary block on releasing the documents for 14 days to allow Trump time to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, as the former president’s attorneys have signaled they intend to do.