Trump sues to block House select committee subpoenas related to Jan. 6 riot

The Democratic-controlled House has issued subpoenas for a host of documents and testimony as part of its investigation into the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill — but former President Donald Trump is hoping to stymie their plans.

According to reports, he filed a federal lawsuit seeking to invoke executive privilege to block the National Archives from providing the requested documents to the House select committee investigating the riot. 

“No reasonable connection to the events of that day”

Trump’s lawsuit comes after President Joe Biden announced that his administration would not assert executive privilege on behalf of his predecessor and even encouraged the National Archives to respond in full to the subpoenas.

The 26-page court document was aimed at the select committee, chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the National Archives and Records Administration, and Archivist David Ferriero.

“This self-described ‘sweeping’ request is almost limitless in scope and effectively seeks every presidential record and communication that could tenuously relate to events that occurred on January 6, 2021,” the lawsuit claims. “The request also seeks records with no reasonable connection to the events of that day.”

As a result, Trump’s team argues that Biden’s refusal to assert executive privilege is “a political ploy to accommodate his partisan allies.”

The lawsuit went on to claim that the select committee’s subpoenas amount to “nothing less than a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorsed by Biden and designed to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration.”

“Such an impulsive, egregious action”

Asserting that “such an impulsive, egregious action against a former President and his close advisors” is illegal, the suit seeks specific relief from the courts.

In fact, lawyers assert that some or all of what is being requested by the committee was deemed “fundamental to the operation of Government” in prior court precedent.

Trump hopes to win a declaratory judgment against the panel’s subpoenas as well as an injunction to block the National Archives from fulfilling the request. At the very least, the suit seeks sufficient time for the former president’s team to fully review the requested documents and assert executive privilege on a case-by-case basis.

Of course, Thompson and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) see things differently and both have decried Trump’s lawsuit as an effort to delay and obstruct the committee’s work.

“The former President’s clear objective is to stop the Select Committee from getting to the facts about January 6th and his lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to delay and obstruct our probe,” the committee leaders asserted said in a joint statement. “It’s hard to imagine a more compelling public interest than trying to get answers about an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn the results of an election.”

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