A federal judge has blocked Donald Trump’s efforts to keep White House records secret from the Jan. 6 House committee, multiple outlets report. On Tuesday night (Nov. 9), Judge Tanya Chutkan approved the release of more than 700 documents from Trump’s presidency that relate to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
“Presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president,” Chutkan wrote in her decision.
According to a sworn declaration from the National Archives, which currently houses the records, they include White House visitor logs, calls logs, video logs and handwritten notes Trump’s then-chief of staff. The documents reportedly relate to Trump’s claims about the 2020 presidential election and his reaction to the insurrection.
Unless a court intervenes, the National Archives will turn the records over to the House committee investigating the riot on Friday (Nov. 12).
“The court holds that the public interest lies in permitting — not enjoining — the combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to and occurred on Jan. 6 and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever occurring again,” Chutkan wrote.
The judge also condemned Trump’s efforts to protect himself through secrecy, writing that presidential privilege “exists for the benefit of the Republic, not any individual.” Chutkan further said that the former president’s wishes to keep the records private could not outweigh the Biden administration’s decision to release them.
“It is the incumbent president who is best situated to protect executive branch interests,” she said.
According to Politico, Trump has already appealed the judge’s decision. As reported by REVOLT, the former POTUS filed a lawsuit last month against the House Jan. 6 committee and the National Archives to prevent the records from being released. Trump’s lawyer previously called the committee’s attempt to access the documents an “illegal fishing expedition openly endorsed by Biden and designed to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration.”