Donald Trump’s remedies to prevent disclosure of his actions during the Jan.6 assault on Capitol Hill are dwindling. A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, December 9, that the former US president could not block the transfer to Congress of documents from the White House on the event that shocked America and the world.
These archives, which he wishes to keep secret, include, among other things, the lists of people who visited or called him that day. The decision may allow a parliamentary committee to shed light on its role in this assault by its supporters, which occurred when elected officials certified Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
The court, however, leaves fourteen days for Mr. Trump to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, which he should do, according to the spokesman for the former president. “Regardless of the decision taken today by the Court of Appeal, this case has always been addressed to the Supreme Court”, so said Liz Harrington on Twitter.
The former president, who denies any responsibility for the attack, denounces “A political game” and refuses to collaborate. He went to court in the name of a prerogative of the executive power to keep his communications confidential, even in the event of summons issued by Congress.
Race against time
After conflicting initial rulings, the appeals court ruled on Thursday that it had no reason to go against the decision of current White House tenant Joe Biden, who authorized the National Archives to deliver these documents to Congress.
“In this case, a rare and powerful set of factors supports making the documents in question public. (…) given the need to investigate and remedy the violent and unprecedented attack on Congress ”, wrote Judge Patricia Millett of the Federal Court of Appeal in Washington.
This decision represents an important victory in the race against time initiated by the special committee of the House of Representatives. She wants at all costs to publish her conclusions before the mid-term elections, in less than a year, during which the Republicans could regain control of the House and bury its work.
With this deadline in mind, the commission is moving forward: it has already heard more than 300 witnesses, said, Thursday, the Republican Liz Cheney, who is one of the elected presiding.
But the former tenant of the White House urged those around him to close ranks. One of the architects of his victory in 2016, the sulphurous Steve Bannon, snubbed the invitations to Congress and was charged with obstructing the prerogatives of parliamentary inquiry, which is why he faces jail.
Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, risks the same fate. The committee will meet on Monday to decide whether to recommend prosecution.
“Don’t be fooled: President Trump is trying to cover up what happened on January 6”, Liz Cheney warned on Twitter. “We won’t let this happen. “
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Assault on Capitol Hill: Court rejects Donald Trump’s new attempt to block transmission of documents to Congress