On Thursday (Dec. 23), the former president’s lawyers filed an emergency petition asking the Court to reverse lower court orders against their client, who has battled to stop the records from being released after President Joe Biden waived his executive right over them. According to the Associated Press, the records include speech drafts, visitor logs, presidential diaries, “a draft Executive Order on the topic of election integrity” and handwritten notes “concerning the events of January 6” from the files of Mark Meadows, former chief of staff.
Trump’s attorneys said former presidents have “a clear right to protect their confidential records from premature dissemination.”
“Congress cannot engage in meandering fishing expeditions in the hopes of embarrassing President Trump or exposing the President’s and his staff’s sensitive and privileged communications ‘for the sake of exposure,'” they added.
However, the House committee believes the records are important to its investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 riot that took place at the Capitol. They believe Trump promoted false theories about the 2020 presidential election being rigged, causing his supporters to assemble in Washington D.C. to try to overturn the results.
Trump’s request to block the release of the records has been rejected by both a three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit and a district court judge. “On the record before us, former President Trump has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote in the D.C. Circuit judgment earlier this month.
A temporary stay could be given unilaterally by the judge who acquires the emergency application, but it will require the approval of at least four of the justices in order for the Supreme Court to take up the case.