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[COMMENTARY] Trump Plans to Sue to Keep WH Records On Jan 6th Insurrection Secret

[COMMENTARY] Trump Plans to Sue to Keep WH Records On Jan 6th Insurrection Secret

What a strange way for an innocent and transparent person to behave.

Donald Trump is preparing to sue to block the release of White House records from his administration to the House select committee scrutinizing the January 6th attack on the Capitol by claiming executive privilege, potentially touching off an extended legal battle over disclosure. Because preventing people from finding out the full truth is what innocent people do to prove how innocent they are.

SARASOTA, FL – JULY 03: Donald Trump arrives to hold a rally on July 3, 2021 in Sarasota, Florida. Co-sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida, the rally marks Trump’s further support of the MAGA agenda and accomplishments of his administration. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

The plan to prevent the House Select Committee investigators from receiving Trump White House records revolves around exploiting the procedure by which the National Archives allows both the Biden administration and Trump to review materials for executive privilege claims. Trump can’t technically claim the privilege of an office he no longer holds–only President Joe Biden can claim it, and he’s not relinquishing that power any time soon. The former guy also expects top aides – former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, strategist Steve Bannon and defense department aide Kash Patel – to defy select committee subpoenas for records and testimony.

As President, Joe Biden retains the final authority over whether to assert the protection for specific documents, meaning that he can instruct the White House counsel, Dana Remus, to allow their release even over Trump’s objections after an additional 60 days has passed. And it’s been made clear that the Current Guy won’t be giving the Former Guy that much leeway.

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But that won’t stop Trump from trying, Grinch-like, to stop the subpoenas from coming. He can file lawsuits to block the release – a legal strategy that Trump and his advisers are preparing to pursue insofar as it could tie up the records in court for months and suppress evidence-gathering efforts made by the Select Committee.

It was not immediately clear how Trump would approach such legal challenges, and whether it would, for instance, involve individual suits against the release of specific records.


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