Dec 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump accuses Jan. 6 panel of "seeking evidence of criminal activity"

Donald Trump

Former President Trump. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Trump's legal team on Wednesday accused the House committee investigating the Capitol riot of seeking to uncover evidence that would support a criminal referral against him.

Why it matters: The brief asked the Supreme Court to consider committee chair Bennie Thompson's (D-Miss.) interview with the Washington Post as part of its effort to block the release of records to the committee, WashPost reported.

Catch up quick: Last week, Trump's lawyers asked the Supreme Court to block the release of documents and records from his administration, arguing that their release would undermine certain presidential special privileges.

  • In an interview published that same day, Thompson said the select committee was examining Trump's actions on Jan. 6 as it considers to recommend that the Justice Department open a criminal investigation into Trump.

What they're saying: The select committee is acting as “an inquisitorial tribunal seeking evidence of criminal activity,” Trump lawyer Jesse R. Binnall wrote in the brief, adding that such action is “outside of any of Congress’s legislative powers.”

  • “The Washington Post has confirmed what was already apparent — the Committee is indeed seeking any excuse to refer a political rival for criminal charges, and they are using this investigation to do so," Binnall added.

What to watch: The select committee is expected to file a response to the request to the Supreme Court on Thursday, per the Post.

  • The select committee did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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