The DC US Circuit Court of Appeals appears to not be looking kindly on former President Donald Trump’s request to block the release of presidential documents for the Congressional committee’s January 6 investigation.
According to CNN, over the course of more than three and a half hours on Tuesday, judges asked what they characterized as skeptical questions about Trump’s claims and questioned the role that the courts should play in hes decision-making.
“This all boils down to who decides. Who decides when it is in the best interest of the United States to disclose presidential records? Is it the current occupant of the White House or the former?” said Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Defense attorney Shan Wu told CNN’s Erica Hill that he believes the judges will not favor Trump in his attempt to block the release of his January 6 documents in court and that this case is likely to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Judges indicated that they were not interested in a document-by-document review of the records that Trump wishes withheld, however, they also grilled the attorneys from both the House of Representatives and President Joe Biden who claimed that the documents should be disclosed:
“We don’t just flip a coin or draw straws or something. What test are we supposed to use?” Judge Robert Wilkins asked a lawyer representing the House.
The House claims to need over 700 pages of disputed Trump White House records. Included in those are records from close advisers including then-chief of staff Mark Meadows and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
The committee asserts that they hope to learn enough about Trump’s attempts for Congress to enact laws that would protect future elections from these documents. The current president, Joe Biden, has endorsed the House’s attempt at uncovering these documents.
For his part, the president and his legal team have asserted that he should have executive privilege over records such as call logs and handwritten notes from top advisers. However, the Biden Administration has declined to keep the documents related to January 6 confidential.
“All three branches of government have acknowledged that there’s a presidential — a right of former presidents to be able to challenge the designation in release of presidential records. The Congress did it through the adoption of the statute,” Jesse Binnall, a lawyer for Trump, argued.