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Trump Sues House Panel Probing US Capitol Riot

Trump Sues House Panel Probing US Capitol Riot
folder_openUnited States access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Former US President Donald Trump asserted in a new court filing that the documents sought by a Congressional panel investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol by his supporters are protected by executive privilege.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, targets both the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol and the National Archives and Records Administration and seeks to block what it calls "an illegal, unfounded, and overbroad records request."

The ex-president seeks relief in the form of permanent injunctions against both the National Archives for supplying the documents and the House committee for requesting them, as well as "a declaratory judgment that the Committee’s requests are invalid and unenforceable under the Constitution and laws of the United States" or "a declaration that the Presidential Records Act is an unconstitutional violation of separation of powers and is void ab initio." Trump also wants to be reimbursed for the cost of the suit.

The filing dismisses the committee's requests as "almost limitless in scope," noting it seeks "every presidential record and communication that could tenuously relate to events that occurred on January 6, 2021," including "records with no reasonable connection to the events of that day."

Trump has rejected the characterization of the events of January 6 as a riot or insurrection and has continued to uphold his claims that led to the event - namely, that he was the rightful winner of the November 3, 2020, election and that US President Joe Biden won via fraud. He has also dismissed the congressional probe, launched by a Democratic-majority House, as a "sideshow to distract America" from the "massive failures" of Biden's administration.

When thousands of Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building on the afternoon of January 6, they did so immediately after a rousing rally hosted by Trump at the White House and with the intent of blocking congressional certification of the election results. Many also voiced an intent to arrest or even lynch members of Congress or the federal government, such as those who chanted "Hang [Vice President Mike] Pence" and erected a gallows on the western terrace.

Five people died during the riot, including a Capitol Police officer and a female rioter shot by an officer outside the House chamber. However, they failed in their ultimate aims and were later dispersed by thousands of National Guardsmen who arrived to garrison the capital city. Trump was later impeached on charges of incitement to insurrection, but was acquitted in a trial in the weeks after he left office.