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77 Bipartisan Former Members of Congress Urge Federal Appeals Court to Oppose Donald Trump’s Continuing Attempts to Hide Records from the January 6th Select Committee

The court should reject Trump’s armchair assertions of executive privilege—and quickly.

Today, 77 retired Republican and Democratic Members of Congress urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reject former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit seeking to block the release of his presidential records related to the January 6, 2021 attack of the U.S. Capitol.

“Trump and his confederates came far closer to blocking the transfer of power to the winner of the 2020 presidential election and imperiling the lives of Senators, Representatives, and the Vice President than amici, with their over 1,023 combined years of congressional service, could have ever imagined,” the bipartisan group of former members of Congress write in their brief. They urge the court to “reject Mr. Trump’s attempts to use armchair assertions of executive privilege from Mar-a-Lago to elevate his personal self-interest ahead of the Constitution.”

The issue is currently before a panel of three judges, which took up the appeal from Trump after Judge Tanya Chutkan, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled that all the documents requested by the Select Committee should promptly be turned over. Judge Chutkan cited the lawmakers’ earlier amicus brief in her ruling. The documents are currently in the possession of the National Archives, which manages the papers of former presidential administrations. 

The former lawmakers argue that the congressional and public interests at stake far outweigh any other interests that could possibly counsel in favor of delaying release of the documents.

“Should a failed presidential candidate ever again prompt an attack on the Capitol, dozens of Senators and Representatives may well lie dead, and our democracy might never recover. Thus, Congress has a sufficient interest to acquire the information it seeks even if the Court were to entertain Mr. Trump’s armchair executive privilege assertion.”

“Accordingly, this Court should affirm the district court, and do so with dispatch so that Mr. Trump is not allowed to use delay tactics to frustrate a legitimate and necessary bipartisan investigation into the worst attack on the peaceful transfer of power since at least the Civil War.”

The lawmakers filed under the purview of Protect Democracy. To read the amicus brief, click here