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Capitol insurrection: Donald Trump's lawsuit to withhold records may backfire on ex-POTUS
Twice-impeached former President Donald Trump is fighting a few lawsuits against Congress, most recently a lawsuit to block the release of his White House records to the House committee probing the January 6 insurrection. However, his lawsuit against the House Committee comes with unexpected consequences relating to another probe by another congressional committee.
Over the weekend, the House Ways and Means Committee filed a court notice citing a judge’s ruling on the former president’s lawsuit on the Capitol riot probe committee. The Ways and Means Committee has been looking to obtain the former president’s financial records in its own investigation -- a set of records that the former president is also trying to keep hidden.
The ruling by the judge on the Capitol insurrection lawsuit rejected the former president’s claim that the congressional investigation has no legitimate “legislative purpose.” This follows as Trump made three attempts before a federal judge to block the National Archives from releasing the first set of White House records despite getting authorized by the Biden White House.
“In analyzing whether a Congressional request serves a valid legislative purpose, the court stated that it ‘must be highly deferential to the legislative branch’ and that ‘it is not the court’s role to decide whether Congress is motivated to aid legislation or exact political retribution; rather, the key factor is whether there is some discernable legislative purpose,’” said the notice.
“Moreover, the court held that Mr. Trump’s status as a former president, and the fact that the legislative and executive branches agree that the records should be produced, reduces the import of the test,” the notice went on to say.
Kyle Cheney of Politico said that this ruling on the January 6 lawsuit could end up being used by the House to ramp up efforts in obtaining Trump’s financial records.
Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon was indicted by the DOJ for failing to comply with the House Committee’s subpoena to testify. According to Axios’ Jonathan Swan, Bannon’s trial may lead to lawmakers and staffers testifying, possibly on both sides.
“Bannon is expected to turn himself in on Monday for arraignment. And if his case goes to trial, it could be quite a scene,” said Swan.