The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has temporarily delayed the release of White House records that the 1/6 Committee is seeking as it investigates Donald Trump’s role in the attack on the US Capitol.
The National Archives was prepared to begin handing over the records to the 1/6 Committee on Friday, November 12 after Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that Trump cannot block the release of the documents, rejecting a claim of executive privilege from the former president.
Politico reports on the appeals court decision to delay the release of the documents:
A federal appeals court on Thursday granted a short-term delay in the Jan. 6 select committee’s access to Donald Trump’s White House records.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — including President Joe Biden’s first and only appointee to that court, Ketanji Brown Jackson — will instead hear arguments in the matter on Nov. 30.
The delay is a minor setback for the House Jan. 6 committee, which had prevailed in U.S. District Court against Trump’s legal effort to block access to his records altogether. The National Archives, which house Trump’s records, had been preparing to deliver them to the committee on Friday afternoon.
The committee has repeatedly emphasized the urgency of accessing Trump’s records as it explores the former president’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results, including the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol that disrupted the electoral vote count and sent lawmakers fleeing in fear.
If unsuccessful in his attempt to quash the release of the records, Trump can appeal the ruling to the full DC Circuit or the Supreme Court.
Subpoenas keep flying
Earlier this week, the 1/6 Committee issued additional subpoenas to former Trump administration officials and campaign staff. On Monday, they issued subpoenas to six witnesses with close ties to the former president.
The committee subpoenaed attorney John Eastman, the disgraced former general and Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik. Campaign staffers Jason Miller, Bill Stepien, and Angela McCallum were also summoned to testify. The six were among those with links to the “war room” that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election on January 6.
The following day, the 1/6 Committee sent subpoenas to ten other officials. CNN reports that the list includes the following individuals:
- Nicholas Luna, former President Donald Trump’s personal assistant
- Molly Michael, Trump’s special assistant to the President and Oval Office operations coordinator
- Ben Williamson, Trump’s deputy assistant to the President and senior adviser to then-chief of staff Mark Meadows
- Christopher Liddell, former Trump White House deputy chief of staff
- John McEntee, Trump’s White House personnel director
- Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to then-Vice President Mike Pence
- Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary under Trump
- Stephen Miller, Trump senior adviser
- Cassidy Hutchinson, special assistant to the President for legislative affairs
- Kenneth Klukowski, former senior counsel to Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark
The 1/6 Committee is clearly stepping up its investigation, but their work is at least somewhat dependent on outside actors including federal judges. How many of the Trump allies are prepared to defy the subpoena? Will the Department of Justice enforce the subpoenas? These lingering questions will determine how effective the committee is in performing its essential duties.