Oct 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former lawmakers seek to block Trump's efforts to shield Jan. 6 records

 Protesters gather storm the Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (
Protesters storm the Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 60 former lawmakers have signed on to a legal brief asking a federal judge to dismiss former President Trump's attempts to shield Jan. 6 investigators from probing his White House records, Politico reports.

Driving the news: The brief, signed by 66 lawmakers, including 24 Republicans and 42 Democrats, argues that Trump "played an outsized — and likely central — role in orchestrating the events that gave rise to the January 6th attack."

  • The brief also argues that Congress' need for documents to investigate the Capitol riot surpasses any potential argument in favor of executive privilege by Trump, per Politico.

The big picture: The brief comes after Trump has filed lawsuits against the National Archives, seeking to block the group from releasing White House records.

  • Trump asserts that his records from the White House are protected by executive privilege, but President Biden has repeatedly rejected Trump's executive privilege claims.
  • The brief was filed under Protect Democracy, a nonprofit government watchdog that argues that Congress needs to fully understand what happened on Jan. 6 to write an apt legislative response, per Politico.

What they're saying: "Its power to do so here is not reduced — and is likely elevated — where the targets of the investigation include a former President and sitting Members of Congress," according to the brief, which entered the D.C. federal district court docket on Friday.

  • "Under these circumstances, no personal interests of Donald Trump or disputed and unresolved questions of executive privilege could possibly tilt the scales against disclosing these records to the Select Committee."

Go deeper: Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

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