Former U.S. President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit alleging that an illegal request was made for his White House records. The request by the US congressional committee was part of its investigation into the January 6 Capitol attacks. Trump says that the materials sought by the House of Representatives are covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some communications between White House officials.
He filed the lawsuit yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, with his lawyer, Jesse Binnall, detailing their reasoning. However many legal experts say Trump cannot use his executive privilege to block the House panel’s request for documents and testimony.
“The Committee’s requests are unprecedented in their breadth and scope and are untethered from any legitimate legislative purpose.”
The incident on January 6 saw a mob of Trump supporters storming the seat of Congress in a bid to prevent lawmakers from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory. Now, more than 600 people are facing charges from allegedly participating in the event. Trump was also impeached by the House on a charge of inciting the attack in a speech that was made earlier that day. But, the Senate acquitted him.
Earlier this month, President Biden authorised the National Archives to turn over documents from Trump’s time in office, to the committee. The committee has also issued subpoenas demanding testimony from Trump advisers, including Steve Bannon, a political strategist. But, Bannon has refused to provide testimony until Trump’s lawsuit has been resolved by a court or through negotiations with the committee.
Now, the committee says it is planning to ask the U.S. Justice Department to bring criminal charges against Bannon because of his failure to abide by the subpoena.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World