Donald Trump
Donald Trump Reuters

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected US President Donald Trump’s effort to block a House select committee from getting a tranche of White House records for its investigation of the January 6 Capitol riot, CNBC reported.

Trump is expected to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.

The former President had argued that the records, which are held by the National Archives, are protected by executive privilege, the legal doctrine that protects White House documents from being made public.

The select committee objected to Trump’s claims, and President Joe Biden waived privilege over the disputed records.

In its ruling Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said Biden “and the Legislative Branch have shown a national interest in and pressing need for the prompt disclosure of these documents.”

Trump “has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents,” the three-judge appeals panel said in its 68-page opinion.

Thursday’s decision upheld the opinion of a lower federal court judge, who ruled last month that in disputes between current and former presidents, “the incumbent’s view is accorded greater weight.”

In May, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to form a commission to probe the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The bill was approved in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

Two days later, however, Senate Republicans blocked the legislation. Senators voted 54-35 on the House-passed bill, falling short of the 10 GOP votes needed to get it over an initial hurdle.

Without any pathway forward in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would use her power to pursue a select committee in the House that will be controlled by Democrats.

Thursday’s court ruling came a day after Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, filed a lawsuit in Washington federal court that seeks to void two subpoenas issued by the committee.

Meadows is one of four Trump allies who were subpoenaed by the committee in September but has refused to cooperate. Last month, the committee threatened Meadows with a criminal contempt referral, and on Wednesday signaled it would pursue a criminal contempt referral.

Other Trump allies who received a subpoena at the same time as Meadows are his former aide Steve Bannon, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller who had also served as an aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

In late October, the House of Representatives voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying the subpoena.