Trump Wins Reprieve on Transfer of Records

Court temporarily bars National Archives from handing over Jan. 6 documents to House panel
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2021 1:12 AM CST
Updated Nov 11, 2021 3:40 PM CST
Judge: Trump Can't Ensure His Records Are Kept Secret
President Donald Trump listens during a "National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America's Schools," event in the East Room of the White House, on July 7, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Update: This file has been updated to reflect the court's Thursday ruling. House investigators may eventually get their hands on records from the Trump White House in regard to the Capitol riot, but it won't be on Friday. A federal appeals court in DC temporarily blocked their release on Thursday, one day before the records were due to be handed over from the National Archives, reports the Washington Post. The court granted the emergency injunction requested by Trump's attorneys as their fight to permanently block the transfer continues in the courts. Our original story from earlier this week follows:

No, Donald Trump cannot count on executive privilege to ensure his records related to the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol are kept secret, a judge ruled Tuesday night. The former president's lawyer had requested a preliminary injunction, which the judge denied, barring the National Archives from releasing his records to the House committee investigating the attack, the New York Times reports. While Trump can assert executive privilege, the judge wrote, he seems to forget that "presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president." Thus the current US president, Joe Biden, is free to waive Trump's executive privilege and hand over the documents to Congress.

Trump immediately appealed, Politico reports. The case is likely to end up before the Supreme Court, the AP reports. Unless a court halts the transfer, the National Archives plans to give the committee the documents, which include details about Trump's actions and whereabouts on Jan. 6 as well as conversations and other relevant happenings leading up to that date, by Friday afternoon. In what Politico calls a "modest victory," the judge agreed that certain records, including polling data, personal papers, and personal communications, are not considered presidential records and should not be turned over by the Archives. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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