It was bound to be a bitter fight to the very end.
Former President Donald Trump has taken his battle to keep his White House records secret from the House Jan. 6 Committee all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, filing a petition on Thursday asking justices to step in and block investigators.
The appeal could be Trump’s last-ditch effort to use the nation’s courts to slow down the work of the congressional committee, which is uncovering what role—if any—the Trump administration played in fomenting a violent mob attack on the U.S. Capitol to keep him in power.
Trump has already lost both initial rounds of this fight, with a federal judge noting that Trump doesn’t have the power of a king, and an appellate panel unanimously lambasting his pleas for having “no basis.”
Jan. 6 Panel Asks Jim Jordan for His Texts With Trump
In his 195-page petition, Trump’s legal team rehashed the same losing arguments: That he, as a former president, retains some semblance of “residual” executive privilege. That a former president can somehow override the current president’s decisions to turn over White House records. And that allowing investigators to comb through his administration’s communications—on a day when Trump was openly trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power—threatens the future of the Republic.
“At stake is the ability of Presidents—past, current, and future—to rely upon executive privilege, separation of powers, and the Presidential Records Act to protect confidential Presidential records of deliberations from premature production to political rivals,” it says.
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