WASHINGTON, -- Former President Donald Trump was denied a request by a federal judge to stop documents being released to the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2017 Capitol riot.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied a preliminary injunction Tuesday, stating that Congress had a strong interest in obtaining records that could shed some light on the violent insurrection led by former president Trump's supporters. She stated that President Joe Biden was authorized to waive executive privilege over documents, despite Trump's claims otherwise.
The National Archives will turn Trump's records over to the committee on Friday, unless there is a court order. Trump's lawyers quickly promised a appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. It is likely that the case will be taken to the U.S. Supreme Court. Late Wednesday, Chutkan denied another request by Trump's lawyers to order the National Archives to not turn over records while an appeal was pending.
Chutkan stated in her Tuesday order that "at bottom, this dispute is between a former President and an incumbent President." "The Supreme Court has made it clear that the incumbent's point of view is given greater weight in these circumstances."
Chutkan stated that Trump "doesn't acknowledge the deference owed to Biden as the current president." She cited examples of past presidents refusing to assert executive privilege, and she rejected Trump's claim executive privilege "exists forever."
She said, "Presidents don't kings and Plaintiff isn't President."
An earlier court filing from the archives states that the records include call logs and drafts of speeches and remarks, as well as handwritten notes by Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff. National Archives claims that there are also copies of Kayleigh McEnany's talking points and a draft Executive Order regarding election integrity.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who heads the House committee said after the ruling that the records were crucial in understanding the attack. He also stated that "there couldn't have been a more compelling public need than getting answers about an attack against our democracy."
Thompson stated on CNN that Trump should stop acting like a "spoiled brat".
The nine-member committee is not only investigating Trump's Jan. 6 conduct -- when he encouraged a crowd to "fight like Hell" just before rioters overran police officers -- but also his actions in the months preceding the riot to contest election results and obstruct peaceful transfer of power. More than 150 witnesses have been interviewed by the committee, and more than 30 subpoenas were issued to McEnany and Stephen Miller, a former White House adviser. It is not clear if the lawmakers will ever seek to have Trump testify.
Trump attacked the work of the committee and promoted conspiracy theories about widespread fraud in election. This despite the fact that Biden won the election with the certification of all 50 states. His claims were also rejected by the courts throughout the country.
Trump sued to stop the National Archives from turning documents over. His lawyers called it a "vexatious and illegal fishing expedition" that was "untethered to any legitimate legislative purpose."
Chutkan stated that the public interest is in allowing, not enjoining, the combined wills of the executive and legislative branches to examine the events leading to and occurring on January 6 and to propose legislation to prevent them from happening again.
Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesperson, tweeted late Tuesday that the case was "destined to be determined by the Appellate Courts."
According to the White House, Chutkan's view "is consistent" with President Obama's statements about the riot. Mike Gwin, a spokesperson for the White House, stated that "It is vital that there be a complete accounting of those events to ensure that something similar never happens again."