Donald Trump continues to be the biggest loser in court, this time in his frantic bid to keep White House documents hidden from the January 6th Committee. The DC Court of Appeals has decided that Trump's White House records can be released to the January 6th Committee, pending Supreme Court review. Will the six conservative justices, including three that Trump himself installed, shield him from the prying eyes of a Congressional Committee looking to find out the truth about the insurrection that nearly cost our country its democracy? The lower court and the Court of Appeals both ruled that the sitting President is the arbiter of Executive Privilege, not The Former Guy. In a blunt ruling, the panels said the following:
“Lives were lost, blood was shed; portions of the Capitol building were badly damaged; and the lives of members of the House and Senate, as well as aides, staffers, and others who were working in the building, were endangered. There a direct linkage between the former President and the events of the day.”
It went on:
“Benjamin Franklin said, at the founding, that we have ‘[a] Republic’—'if [we] can keep it.' The events of January 6th exposed the fragility of those democratic institutions and traditions that we had perhaps come to take for granted. In response, the President of the United States and Congress have each made the judgment that access to this subset of presidential communication records is necessary to address a matter of great constitutional moment for the Republic."
The entire 68-page ruling is at the end of this post.
Twitter had lots of thoughts:
Trump has 14 days to file a motion asking the Supreme Court to intervene. The Supreme Court can decline to hear it, they can hear it and rule against Trump (both would allow the documents to be released) or they could grant a stay or hear it and rule in his favor (documents won't get released).