WASHINGTON – A federal judge late Tuesday denied Donald Trumpattempt to block the release of hundreds of pages of documents from his presidency to the House Select Committee investigating the 6 January assault on the United States Capitol.
“Plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits of his claims or suffer irreparable harm, and as a balance between action and public interest is contrary to granting the required compensation,” wrote United States District Judge Tanya Chutkan. “But presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president.”
Less than two hours after his sentence, Trump attorney Jesse Binnall filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to stop Friday’s scheduled release of the first batch of documents by of the National Archives to the committee.
Trump, who sought to overthrow American democracy to stay in power despite losing the 2020 election by 7 million votes, sought to use the concept of “executive privilege” to keep his involvement in planning the attack a secret. his actions during the hours took place.
His successor, President Joe Biden, has already said through his White House General Adviser that it would be inappropriate to use a legal principle based on the Constitution to hide an attack on that very document.
Chutkan, who had appeared deeply skeptical of Trump’s legal arguments at a hearing last week, set out her reasoning in a 39-page opinion that dismissed each of Trump’s claims.
“First, the incumbent president has already spoken of the compelling public interest in ensuring that the select committee has access to the information it needs to complete its investigation,” he wrote. “Consequently, the Court considers that the public interest consists in allowing – not prescribing – the joint will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led and occurred on January 6 and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever happening again. “
Chutkan, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, also wrote that Trump’s public behavior prior to the January 6 uprising was important to consider.
“In the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, plaintiff stated that the only way he could have lost would be if the elections were ‘rigged’,” he wrote. “On January 6, the actor spoke at the rally at Ellipse, during which (1) he repeated claims, rejected by numerous courts, that the election had been ‘rigged’ and ‘stolen’; (2) urged then Vice President Pence, who was preparing to call Congress to count the electoral votes, “to do the right thing” by rejecting some state voters and refusing to certify the election for President Joseph R. Biden; and (3) told the protesters to “go to the Capitol” to “give them the kind of pride and audacity they need to take our country back,” “let’s fight. Let’s fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell. ‘hell, you’ll never have a country anymore,’ and ‘you’ll never take our country back with weakness.’ “
Neither Binnall nor its spokespersons responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
Trump became the first president in 232 years of US elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully to his successor.
He spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the November 3 contest he lost, starting to lie in the hours before dawn on November 4 that he had indeed won in a “landslide” and that his victory had been “stolen” from him. Those untruths continued through a long line of failed lawsuits that disputed the results in a handful of states.
Trump and some of his advisers have even discussed using the US military by invoking the Insurrection Act or declaring martial law to maintain power despite losing the presidential election, including by seizing voting machines and ordering “rivot” in the were narrowly won by Biden.
But earlier military leaders had made it clear they would not get involved in the political process, so after the Electoral College finally voted on Dec 5, Dec 8, 14, making Biden’s victory official, Trump instead turned to one. desperate scheme to pressure his vice president to nullify the votes of millions of voters in different states that Biden won and declaring Trump the winner during the pro forma congressional certification of election results on Jan.6
Trump asked his followers to come to Washington that day and then told the tens of thousands who showed up to march on the Capitol to intimidate Mike Pence into doing what Trump wanted. “When you catch someone in a fraud, you are allowed to follow very different rules,” Trump said.
The crowd of supporters he incited attempted to carry out his orders by storming the building. They even sang “Hang Mike Pence” after the vice president refused to comply with Trump’s demands.
A police officer died after being attacked during the uprising and four other officers took their own lives in the following days and weeks. One of the rioters was fatally shot while climbing through a broken window into an anteroom containing House members still being evacuated, and three others in the crowd died in the melee.
Although the House has indicted Trump for inciting the attack, all but seven Republicans in the Senate, led by then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have chosen not to condemn him, thus allowing Trump to continue his political career. even as he faces several investigations into his post-election actions.
Trump and his allies are now engaged in a campaign to portray the gunman who was shot, Ashli Babbitt, as a martyr and the hundreds of others who have been arrested as victims of political persecution. Trump himself continues to suggest that he will run for the 2024 GOP nomination and is using money from his Save America committee to continue spreading the same falsehoods that culminated in the January 6 violence.