Supreme Court Forces Trump To Release Private Documents

( )- Former President Donald Trump was dealt a legal blow this week when the Supreme Court decided to allow presidential documents to be released to the House January 6 investigating committee.

On Wednesday, the justices rejected Trump’s bid to withhold those documents from the House committee while the issue is being resolved in court. Lawyers for Trump were hoping to prolong the fight in court so that the documents could be kept on hold and out of the hands of the committee members.

Now, though, the committee faces no legal hurdles in gaining access to those documents. Right now, the documents live with the National Archives and Records Administration.

Included in the documents the committee is seeking are speech drafts, visitor logs, presidential diaries and handwritten notes all surrounding the January 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol building. In addition, there are files from Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff for the White House.

According to the committee’s chair, Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, and vice chair, Republican Representative Liz Cheney, the committee has already started to receive some of these records that Trump was hoping to keep out of their hands.

AS the two said in a joint statement:

“The Supreme Court’s action tonight is a victory for the rule of law and American democracy … [We pledge to] uncover all the facts about the violence of January 6th and its causes.”

Mike Gwin, a spokesman for the White House, said the ruling was “an important step forward … and in ensuring accountability for an unprecedented assault on our democracy and the rule of law.”

The Biden administration did, however, request that the House committee defer attempting to get access to some of the documents, and they agreed. The White House apparently is concerned that if all of the documents from the Trump administration are released, it could compromise both executive privilege and national security.

President Joe Biden previously waived executive privilege over those documents, and a federal appeals court also ruled in favor of their release. The attorneys for Trump were hoping that the Supreme Court were reverse those rulings and effectively block the documents from being released.

The majority opinion from the high court was unsigned. It acknowledged “serious or substantial concerns” over whether a former president had the ability to win a court order that would prevent certain records that come from his time in office from being disclosed in a situation like the one at hand.

The opinion did add, though, that the federal appeals court had ruled that the assertion of executive privilege by Trump over those documents would’ve failed “even if he were the incumbent.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh didn’t object to the Supreme Court ruling, nor did the other two justices that Trump appointed — Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.

At the same time, Kavanaugh wrote that “a former President must be able to successfully invoke the Presidential communications privilege for communications that occurred during his Presidency, even if the current President does not support the privilege claim.”