Federal appeals court rejects Trump’s bid to block Congress’ Capitol riot probe, says executive privilege can’t be used to shield efforts ‘to subvert the Constitution itself’


Former President Donald Trump.

A federal appeals court rejected Trump’s request to block the Jan. 6 select committee from obtaining executive branch records.
Trump asserted executive privilege over the documents, but the Biden administration declined to do the same.
The court said executive privilege should not be used to withhold “information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected former President Donald Trump’s effort to block the January 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot from obtaining executive branch documents relevant to its inquiry.

“Benjamin Franklin said, at the founding, that we have ‘[a] Republic”—’if [we] can keep it.’ The events of January 6th exposed the fragility of those democratic institutions and traditions that we had perhaps come to take for granted,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote in the opinion.

“In response, the President of the United States and Congress have each made the judgment that access to this subset of presidential communication records is necessary to address a matter of great constitutional moment for the Republic,” it continued. “Former President Trump has given this court no legal reason to cast aside President Biden’s assessment of the Executive Branch interests at stake, or to create a separation of powers conflict that the Political Branches have avoided.”

The opinion also highlighted the “unique and extraordinary circumstances” surrounding the case.

“Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President’s constitutional responsibilities,” it said. “The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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