Trump sues US committee investigating Jan 6 Capitol Hill riots to block release of White House records

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Oct 19, 2021, 09:44 AM(IST)

(File Photo) Former US President Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

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Trump has said that records sought by the House of Representatives committee are covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some White House communications

Former US president Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against the congressional committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill riots, claiming that the members made an illegal request for his White House records.

The suit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday, accused the select committee of harassing Trump and senior members of his administration with “an illegal, unfounded, and overbroad records request to the Archivist of the United States.”

Trump has said that records sought by the House of Representatives committee are covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some White House communications.

The suit also accuses President Joe Biden of “a political ploy” by refusing to assert executive privilege over the records to keep them from going to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

“The Committee’s request amounts to nothing less than a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorses by Biden to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration,” the suit says.

Also read | Melania Trump refused to condemn Capitol Hill attack despite a chance

Committee members Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, and Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said in a written statement issued in response to Trump's lawsuit that the former president was seeking to “delay and obstruct” their investigation.

“It’s hard to imagine a more compelling public interest than trying to get answers about an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn the results of an election,” Cheney and Thompson said in the statement.

Also read | Donald Trump was 'partying' just hours before Capitol Hill violence

On January 6 this year, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the seat of Congress in a failed bid to prevent lawmakers from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden's election victory. More than 600 people face criminal charges stemming from the event.

Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House on a charge of inciting the attack on the Capitol in a fiery speech at a rally earlier that day. He was acquitted by the Senate.

Biden earlier this month authorised the National Archives to turn over an initial batch of documents requested by the select committee. The Archives has said it would turn over the requested material next month, according to Trump's lawsuit, which seeks an injunction halting that process.

(With inputs from agencies)

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