A group of a half-dozen former White House and top Justice Department lawyers who served under Republican presidents have urged the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump's efforts to prevent the Jan. 6 House select committee from getting certain documents, The Hill reported.
The group argued in an amicus brief that Trump’s claim of executive privilege over his administration’s records is outweighed by congressional investigators' pursuit of the facts surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
"Congress is now investigating those events and determining how to prevent unsuccessful candidates from attempting to undermine our democracy in the future," the group wrote, The Hill reported.
"[We] believe that the documents at issue should be turned over, given, among other things, the importance of the House investigation into the January 6th attack and the current president’s reasonable determination that executive privilege should not be asserted in this case."
The group of attorneys also disagreed with Trump's claim that the committee lacked a legitimate legislative purpose for requesting the records.
"It is difficult to imagine a more compelling interest than the House's interest in determining what legislation might be necessary to respond to the most significant attack on the Capitol in 200 years and the effort to undermine our basic form of government that that attack represented," they wrote, The Hill said.
The brief's authors included:
- Donald Ayer, who served in the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
- Peter Keisler, a high-ranking DOJ official under President George W. Bush and an associate White House counsel under Reagan.
- Carter Phillips, an assistant to the solicitor general under Reagan.
The Hill said the House panel was expected to file a court brief on Thursday.
Trump last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the release of White House records sought by the House panel, which is investigating the Jan. 6 events.
The former president's request came two weeks after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the former president had no basis to challenge President Joe Biden's decision to allow the documents to be handed over. That decision will remain on hold until the Supreme Court acts.
Earlier this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan committee — comprised of Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans — agreed to defer its attempt to get hundreds of pages of records from the Trump administration, holding off at the request of the Biden White House, which is working with the committee to shield some documents from being turned over.
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