Status: 01/20/2022 09:24 a.m
The former US President wanted to prevent documents on the storming of the Capitol from being released to the committee of inquiry. The constitutional judges rejected his application with a large majority.
Former US President Donald Trump’s documents on the storming of the Capitol may be handed over to the House of Representatives committee of inquiry. The US Supreme Court denied a request by Trump’s lawyers to block the documents.
It involves an estimated 800 pages of documents currently held by the US National Archives. Among them are diaries of the former president, draft speeches, handwritten notes and visitor logs from the files of then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
US President Biden has released documents
The documents are intended to give the committee of inquiry a closer look at what happened on January 6, 2021. Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on the day Congress was supposed to confirm the nomination of Joe Biden as the new US President. The confirmation process was interrupted, MPs were taken to safety. Five people died in the attack.
A federal appeals court had previously ordered the documents to be released, and US President Biden had released them. However, the current US administration feared that the release of all documents could endanger national security. Therefore, the investigative committee waived some documents.
Executive power does not last forever
Trump’s lawyers accused the investigative committee of treating him as a “political enemy” and requested that the release of the documents be blocked on the grounds of executive privilege. Executive privilege gives the President a prerogative to keep certain information secret. The Court of Appeal said in November that executive privilege was there to protect the government. It doesn’t last forever.
Supreme Court justices rejected Trump’s request by a large majority of eight of the nine constitutional judges. Three judges who Trump himself appointed also voted against his motion.
Committee of Inquiry: “Victory for Democracy”
The investigative committee chair, Democrat Bennie Thompson, and his deputy, Republican Liz Cheney, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. She was “a victory for the rule of law and American democracy”.
Defeat for Trump – Supreme Court releases documents
Katrin Brand, ARD Washington, 20.1.2022 8:34 a.m