Trump loses appeal to withhold records from Jan 6 attack

The US Court of Appeals ruled that former president Donald Trump had not given them a good basis to override President Biden's ruling.

 FORMER US PRESIDENT Donald Trump attends his first post-presidency campaign rally, in Wellington, Ohio, in June.  (photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)
FORMER US PRESIDENT Donald Trump attends his first post-presidency campaign rally, in Wellington, Ohio, in June.
(photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)

A US appeals court on Thursday rejected a request by former President Donald Trump to withhold records from the House of Representatives Select Committee probing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, saying he had provided "no basis" for his request.

"On the record before us, former President Trump has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden's judgment," a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit wrote.

"Both branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s inquiry into an attack on the legislative branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power."

The ruling marks yet another blow to the former Republican president, who has waged an ongoing legal battle with the committee over access to documents and witnesses.

Trump has argued that the materials requested by the House committee were covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege that protects the confidentiality of some White House communications.

The US Capitol Building can be seen from behind fencing with barbed wire in Washington, US, January 28, 2021 (credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS)The US Capitol Building can be seen from behind fencing with barbed wire in Washington, US, January 28, 2021 (credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS)

Trump's lawyers have called the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated, and argue that the documents are protected.

This is now the second time a federal court has ruled against Trump in the matter.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan on November 9 rejected Trump's arguments, saying he had not acknowledged the "deference owed" to Biden's determination that the committee could access the records. adding: "Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President."

The court on Thursday gave Trump 14 days to file an emergency request to the Supreme Court to appeal the ruling.

"Regardless of today’s decision by the appeals court, this case was always destined for the Supreme Court," Trump lawyer Liz Harrington tweeted.