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A federal appeals court panel has ruled against former President Donald Trump as he tries to keep the National Archives from handing over his White House records being sought by the House Jan. 6th Committee.

The panel of three federal judges – two appointed by Barack Obama and one by Biden on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia – unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling denying Trump a preliminary injunction to stop the release of records.

A separate administrative injunction pending the court fight is to dissolve within 14 days under the ruling, unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to take the case.

The opinion, authored by Judge Patricia Millet, an Obama appointee, said there was ‘no basis’ for overturning President Joe Biden‘s position that he would not exercise executive privilege to keep the documents sealed. 

An Appeals Court panel ruled against former President Donald Trump as he tries to keep the National Archives from handing over his White House records to Congress

An Appeals Court panel ruled against former President Donald Trump as he tries to keep the National Archives from handing over his White House records to Congress

An Appeals Court panel ruled against former President Donald Trump as he tries to keep the National Archives from handing over his White House records to Congress

‘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,’ the panel wrote.

Millet’s opinion stated the question as one of whether the court could ‘override’ Biden’s determination at Trump’s request. 

She wrote that Trump’s lawyers had failed to demonstrate a likelihood of succeed in order to obtain the injunction.

The opinion cites ‘Mr. Trump’s failure even to allege, let alone demonstrate, any particularized harm that would arise from disclosure, any distinct and superseding interest in confidentiality attached to these particular documents, lack of relevance, or any other reasoned justification for withholding the documents.’

Trump sued Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., arguing against President Joe Biden's decision to waive any privilege on the documents

Trump sued Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., arguing against President Joe Biden's decision to waive any privilege on the documents

Trump sued Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., arguing against President Joe Biden’s decision to waive any privilege on the documents

The unanimous order came from a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals

The unanimous order came from a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals

The unanimous order came from a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals

The case could end up in the Supreme Court

The case could end up in the Supreme Court

The case could end up in the Supreme Court

Trump sued House Jan. 6th Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) over the requests for documents following its requests for information held at the Archives.

‘Both Branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s inquiry into an attack on the Legislative Branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power.’

The House Select Committee on Jan. 6th, chaired by Thompson, is probing the Capitol riot. It has sought a trove of documents, including White House logs, images, documents, and internal communications as part of its probe.

Panel member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has said it has interviewed 300 witnesses. 

The ruling, Millet noted, involved a subset of documents where Biden had ‘expressly determined that asserting a claim of executive privilege to withhold the documents from the January 6th Committee is not warranted.’

Biden had determined a privilege assertion is ‘not in the best interests of the United States’ given the ‘unique and extraordinary circumstances’ of the riot.

The legal setback for Trump comes as some key witnesses have refused to talk to the Committee.

Former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon has a summer court date after being indicted for contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said this week he will not provide testimony, and faces his own potential contempt vote in the House. 

Former top Pentagon official Kash Patel provided testimony Thursday.

 He said in a statement: ‘I have always been willing and able to share with the Committee, and the American people, the truth about the events of January 6—including the Department of Defense’s preparation for and response to unrest at the Capitol. Without prior outreach from the Committee, I learned about the subpoena through the media, and subsequently received violent threatening messages which were reported to the FBI.’

‘Though I have had major concerns about the fairness of the proceedings, I appeared to answer questions to the best of my ability. The DOD Inspector General, under the Biden Administration, found no wrongdoing in its report on Jan. 6, as I shared with the Committee,’ he said. 

The opinion offers a biting assessment of the events that preceded the case. 

‘On November 3, 2020, Americans elected Joseph Biden as President, giving him 306 electoral college votes. ThenPresident Trump, though, refused to concede, claiming that the election was “rigged” and characterized by “tremendous voter fraud and irregularities,’ it states. 

‘Over the next several weeks, President Trump and his allies filed a series of lawsuits challenging the results of the election … The courts rejected every one of the substantive claims of voter fraud that was raised.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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