Appeals Court Blocks January 6 Committee Access To Trump White House Documents

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request from former President Donald Trump to block the January 6 Committee’s access to his White House’s records in the National Archives on Thursday.

The House Select Committee on January 6 is tasked with investigating the events before, during and after the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The injunction is temporary, however, and only blocks the documents from being released while the larger legal question of whether the committee can legally access the documents is litigated.

“The National Archives and Records Administration and the Archivist be enjoined from releasing the records requested by the House Select Committee over which appellant asserts executive privilege, pending further order of this court,” the order reads, according to CBS News. (RELATED: Liz Cheney Says She Agrees With Speaker Pelosi On Rejecting Two Republicans For The Jan. 6 Select Committee)

(L-R) US Representatives Elaine Luria, Adam Schiff, Liz Cheney, Jamie Raskin, Adam Kinzinger and Chairman Bennie Thompson, speak to the media following testimony during the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol adjourned their first hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. – The committee heard testimony from members of the US Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department who tried to protect the Capitol against insurrectionists on January 6, 2021. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

The court added that the ruling is temporary and “should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits” of Trump’s argument.

Trump’s legal team filed an emergency motion on Thursday after a federal judge struck down the former president’s claim that his White House records were protected by executive privilege.

“President Trump respectfully moves this Court to enter an administrative injunction enjoining release of the privileged documents while the Court considers President Trump’s Motion for a Stay Pending Appeal,” Trump’s team wrote, according to CBS.

In addition to requesting documents from the Trump White House, the committee has subpoenaed numerous former Trump administration officials, including senior adviser Stephen Miller, chief-of-staff Mark Meadows and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. The committee subpoenaed more than a dozen former Trump officials on Monday and Tuesday alone.

“The Select Committee wants to learn every detail of what went on in the White House on January 6th and in the days beforehand,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said in a Tuesday statement. “We need to know precisely what role the former President and his aides played in efforts to stop the counting of the electoral votes and if they were in touch with anyone outside the White House attempting to overturn the outcome of the election.”

“We believe the witnesses subpoenaed today have relevant information and we expect them to comply fully with the Select Committee’s investigation as we work to get answers for the American people, make recommendations on changes to the law to protect our democracy, and help ensure that nothing like January 6th ever happens again,” he added. (RELATED: Jan. 6 Committee Threatens Contempt Referrals Over Defied Subpoenas)

Trump released a statement deriding the move less than an hour after the committee announced the subpoenas, claiming Congress should instead focus on his unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

“The Unselect Committee of politically ambitious hacks continues to subpoena people wanting to know about those protesting, on January 6th, the insurrection which took place during the Presidential Election of November 3rd,” Trump wrote. “There is so much proof, but the Fake News Media refuses to print it or show it in any way, shape, or form.”