What’s next in Trump’s scramble to keep the House from getting his White House documents?


A three-person DC Circuit Court of Appeals jury, all nominated by Democrats, put the rendition on hold Thursday and set oral arguments for later that month.

The House of Representatives Special Committee, which is investigating events before and on Jan. 6, has sought information from a number of federal agencies, including the National Archives, which maintain the Trump administration’s White House records.

The committee asked for “all documents and communications within the White House” that day, including call logs, schedules and meetings with top officials and outside advisors, including Rudy Giuliani.

ANALYSIS: It was a big week for the January 6th investigation

When can the house get the records?

The National Archives were due to send 46 documents on Friday over which Trump claims executive privilege. It has already handed over 90 unchallenged records.

The handover on Friday would have included White House call logs, video logs and schedules related to January 6, as well as three pages of handwritten notes from Trump’s then chief of staff.

More than 700 documents would arrive later in the month and beyond.

What Trump wants

Keep records under lock and key at the National Archives.

He claims executive privileges over certain documents and says the January 6th committee is a Democrat-led party exercise.

“The disagreements between an incumbent president and his predecessor of a rival political party highlight the importance of executive privileges and the ability of presidents and their advisors to reliably give and receive full and frank advice without concern about communications being publicly available to be a political goal, “wrote Trump’s lawyers.

What does the White House say about Biden?

The Biden White House does not want to get in each other’s way and has said it will not use the executive branch’s privilege to stop the transfer of documents.

Earlier this week, Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that it was basically the Biden White House decision. And Biden wants to hand over the documents.

“Presidents are not kings and the plaintiff is not president,” wrote Chutkan on Tuesday evening.

“The court finds that the public interest is to allow the common will of the legislative and executive branches – not to force them – to investigate the events, which will come back to the 6th,” added Chutkan in a 39-page statement .

The presidential privilege “exists for the good of the republic, not for the good of an individual,” she wrote.

What happened thursday

Trump filed an urgency motion just before noon, asking the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to block the surrender while it examines his upcoming appeal. A three-judge court granted the motion and set a schedule for the meeting and oral arguments for November 30th.
In a bilateral order, the panel’s three judges, all appointed by Democrats, wrote, “The purpose of this injunction is to protect the jurisdiction of the court to handle the applicant’s claims to executive privilege and should not in any way as a judgment on the matter. “

Did you say all Democrats?

Yes sir. Judges who signed the order include two former President Barack Obama’s nominations – Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins – and President Joe Biden‘s nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an alleged Supreme Court candidate.

They’re not the three Trump would have voted, to say the least. But that could work out to his advantage.

Isn’t that taking up time?

Yes, that seems to be part of Trump’s strategy.

In time, they move pretty quickly, but from the former president’s point of view, every day in Congress without filing is a win.

Trump wants to drag out the process as long as possible: arguments before the appellate court, then, if necessary, before the Supreme Court.

He used the same techniques to keep the House from getting its tax records and other documents and to keep officials from giving evidence, and each step of the legal process can take weeks or months.

What if Trump loses in the appeals court?

With oral arguments on November 30th, a decision by the three-person jury would probably not be made until early December.

The losing party then has a few options. It can ask the court to hear the appeal en banc, that is, ask the entire appeals court to review the case, not just the three judges. Should the court approve the motion, you’d see more filings, more debate, and possibly more oral argument – and more free time. (The entire court can simply say “No thanks” when asked.)

Or, after the three-judge panel decides, and assuming it doesn’t go to the full court, the loser can go to the Supreme Court.

We would probably go through the same process there, but through the court’s “shadow act”, where the judges often – but not always – act quickly.

What is “During Callings” about?

The focus is still on Trump’s attempt to convince the courts that nothing should be surrendered that he does not want to surrender because of executive privileges.

He’s now on a temporary ban, but that’s not a long-term solution.

If Trump actually files his appeal against claims to executive privilege, the same routine applies – it starts with review by a three-person jury of the appellate court and continues from there.

Then the loser has an opportunity to proceed with additional appeals before the appellate body, including asking the Supreme Court to reconsider.

But doesn’t it take a lot of time?

They start.

So let’s say the house eventually gets the documents it wants; can we see them too?

That would be a matter for the House Electoral Committee. But no matter what, its members would see them before the rest of us.

What if they don’t get it and the Republicans win the 2022 midterm election?

The select committee is expected to be canceled.


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