House Democrats generally remained committed to probing former President Donald Trump and his top allies under the guise of a select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot.
This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a triumphant statement after a federal judge ruled against Trump’s latest assertion of executive privilege.
“Instigated and encouraged”
As reported by The Washington Times, the court ruling determined that the investigatory panel should be able to access thousands of Trump administration documents included in recent subpoenas.
Pelosi and many in her party might be celebrating the short-term victory, but pundits on both sides of the aisle warn that it could set a precedent that Democrats might regret when the GOP inevitably regains control of Congress and the White House.
Nevertheless, her office reacted to the district court ruling as “an important victory for the Constitution, the rule of law and the American people.”
Pelosi went on to declare: “No one can be allowed to stand in the way of the truth — particularly not the previous President, who instigated and encouraged the insurrection. As the ruling states, ‘Presidents are not Kings, and plaintiff is not president.'”
Echoing prior statements denouncing those who took part in the Jan. 6 riot, the House speaker railed against the supposed “attempt to overthrow the government and to subvert American Democracy itself.”
“Power and importance”
Her statement expressed some relief that the judge’s ruling “clearly reaffirms the power and importance of the Select Committee to pursue its prerogative to conduct oversight and find the truth, to protect the Capitol and defend Democracy.”
As for the 39-page ruling issued on Tuesday by D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, it thoroughly rejected Trump’s request for an injunction and claim of executive privilege over the “broad” range of communications and documents dating back to April 2020.
Trump’s team has argued that a president’s executive privilege persists “in perpetuity,” and while the judge acknowledged that he “has the right to assert that his records are privileged,” she determined that Biden “is not constitutionally obligated to honor” that claim.
According to Politico, attorneys for the former president wasted no time filing an appeal, which Chutkan almost immediately rejected in a six-page order on Wednesday.
As far back as September, Trump has signaled his intention to oppose the subpoenas, stating at that time that he would do so “on Executive Privilege and other grounds, for the good of our Country.”