Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to speed up its response to a lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump against the House select committee tasked with “investigating” the riot that took place on Capitol Hill last January.
According to The Hill, George J. Terwilliger III, Meadows’ lawyer, made the request in an amicus brief filed with Supreme Court on Friday.
The brief comes months after the select committee in Congress’ lower chamber was first formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). As part of its probe into the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, members of the panel are seeking a trove of documents detailing communications from within the Trump administration that they claim are related to the unrest.
To this end, the committee has subpoenaed several Trump allies, including Meadows, for both documents and formal testimony.
Trump, for his part, has claimed that the information the panel is seeking is protected by his executive privilege, and the former president has filed a lawsuit to settle the matter. The suit also claims the House committee has exceeded its authority in their investigation.
Lower courts have rejected Trump’s arguments — but now, the matter has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Important and timely issues”
Considering that the House committee has voted to hold Meadows and others in contempt of Congress for noncompliance with their subpoenas, the outcome of this case is particularly important to Meadows.
In his Friday filing on behalf of his client, Terwilliger argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should issue a “prompt” response to Trump’s lawsuit against the committee because it “raises important and timely issues.”
Terwilliger wrote that the suit offers the SCOTUS the opportunity to “provide a needed check on the continued growth of congressional investigations,” and “to opine on whether Congress and the incumbent President may agree to override” a claim of executive privilege by a former commander-in-chief.
“Back to the drawing board”
President Joe Biden has sought to deny Trump’s claim of executive privilege, and a lawyer for the White House said the administration determined it “is not in the best interests of the United States” to withhold records from the House panel, Fox News reports.
Writing Friday, Terwilliger noted that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Trump by deciding that he “has a valid claim of privilege which President Biden cannot waive, or that the Select Committee is not pursuing a valid legislative purpose, then the Select Committee would need to narrow its investigation (or at least go back to the drawing board) in a way that might moot much of the pending litigation.”
It remains unclear when the Supreme Court will hand down its final ruling.