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Sixty-Six Former Republican and Democratic Members of Congress Urge Court to Oppose Donald Trump’s Attempt to Hide Records from the January 6 Select Committee

A Violent Attack to Stop a Transfer of Power, Not a Transfer of Documents, Is the Real Threat to Democracy

Today, 66 retired Republican and Democratic Members of Congress urged the swift dismissal of 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 and denial of his motion to slow down the Court’s review.

The “armed attack on the United States Capitol that disrupted the peaceful transfer of presidential power—and not the document requests necessary to investigate such an armed attack on our democracy—is the only grave threat to the Constitution before the Court, and why a congressional investigation and remedial legislation is plainly warranted to protect the Constitution from future assaults on the peaceful transfer of power,” the bipartisan group of former members of Congress write in their brief. 

The issue is currently before Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 

Failed candidate Trump managed, in the words of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to “engineer the campaign of disinformation and rage that” resulted in the storming of the Capitol, which he then “watched . . . happily” on television as “Vice President Pence was in danger” and “the mob carrying Trump banners was beating cops and breaching perimeters.” Trump “came far closer to blocking a peaceful transfer of power and imperiling the lives of Senators, Representatives, and the Vice President of the United States than amici, with their over 860 years of congressional service, could have ever expected.”

It is squarely within the constitutional authorities granted to Congress to pass legislation to ensure the peaceful transfer of presidential power. The brief makes plain that Congress must be empowered to conduct a broad and thorough investigation to understand the scope of threats arrayed against the peaceful transfer of presidential power and effectively legislate to prevent those threats from ever again imperiling our democracy. “The clear and overwhelming need for, and public interest in, Congress having documents to further its legitimate legislative purpose should be fatal to President Trump’s motion,” the former members wrote in their brief. 

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