Former President Donald Trump sued Congress and the National Archives to block the release of White House files related to his actions and communications surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Trump argued that the documents should remain sealed for reasons of executive privilege. According to Trump, the Constitution gives former presidents the right to confidentiality — even though President Joe Biden has refused to assert executive privilege over the documents.
“In a political ploy to accommodate his partisan allies, President Biden has refused to assert executive privilege over numerous clearly privileged documents requested by the committee,” Trump’s lawyer Jesse R. Binnall wrote in his complaint.
The lawsuit kicks off what is likely to be a major legal battle between Trump and the House committee investigating the riot. Its outcome will carry consequences for how much the panel can uncover about Trump’s role in the incident, pose thorny questions for the Biden administration, and potentially forge new precedents about presidential privileges and the separation of powers.
Biden’s top White House lawyer, Dana Remus, made it clear Biden doesn’t find executive privilege legitimate under these circumstances.
“The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself,” Ms. Remus wrote.
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