Supreme Court rejects Trump’s privilege claim over docs sought by Jan. 6 panel

Former President Donald Trump just suffered a setback in his effort to block records requested by the House select committee investigating the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to Fox News, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Trump’s claim that the documents are protected by executive privilege. 

Biden dismisses Trump’s claim of privilege

Despite a conservative majority on the nation’s high court, Justice Clarence Thomas was the only member who dissented from the majority opinion.

As for the Democratic-controlled congressional panel, its members have been attempting to review riot-related documents currently being kept by the National Archives. The committee claims that such evidence is necessary to fully understand the events leading up to the breach of the Capitol building.

Although Trump has argued that the documents contain privileged information, his successor clearly disagrees.

President Joe Biden rejected Trump’s claim and began handing over some of the documents to the committee. This development led the former president to file a lawsuit asking the courts to step in and assert his privilege claim.

Thus far, the judicial branch has refused to intervene on Trump’s behalf.

“Raise serious and substantial concerns”

After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed Trump a loss, he was left with one final option: the Supreme Court.

In its majority opinion, the high court determined that the “questions whether and in what circumstances a former President may obtain a court order preventing disclosure of privileged records from his tenure in office, in the face of a determination by the incumbent President to waive the privilege, are unprecedented and raise serious and substantial concerns.”

As for the prior decision, the justices noted that the circuit court “analyzed and rejected President Trump’s privilege claims ‘under any of the tests [he] advocated.'”

Although Thomas was the only dissenting justice, fellow conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh took issue with at least part of the majority ruling, writing that any former president “must be able to successfully invoke” executive privilege “for communications that occurred during his Presidency” — whether or not his successor agrees with that determination.

“Concluding otherwise would eviscerate the executive privilege for Presidential communications,” Kavanaugh added.

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