In October, former President Donald Trump attempted to block a U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill insurrection from obtaining White House records. Trump argued the materials requested by the Committee were protected by ‘executive privilege’, which grants confidentiality over certain communications within the White House.
Yesterday, a U.S. judge rejected Trump’s request to block the release of the documents. This means the requested records must be handed over, including phone records and visitor logs.
Judge Tanya Chutkan said on her decision, “while broad, these requests, and each of the other requests made by the Committee, do not exceed the Committee’s legislative powers”.
Wait, what is this investigation?
The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack began an investigation into the insurrection back in July. The Committee is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans.
In August, the Committee sent letters to eight different federal agencies, requesting information and records on the roles that some Trump administration officials may have played in the insurrection. The agencies were given a two-week deadline to produce the records and other forms of potential evidence to further help the Committee understand what happened on the day of the insurrection.
In October, the House Select Committee investigation subpoenaed multiple advisors and associates to the former President, all of whom were in contact with Trump during the Capitol breach.
So, what is a subpoena?
It’s an order to appear in court to give evidence or to produce a document to the court.
Further subpoenas were issued this week on Tuesday to 10 former officials who worked for Trump, including White House Press Secretary for Trump’s final year as President, Kayleigh McEnany. This move is particularly important, as now, some of Trump’s closest associates will be part of the investigation. A day prior to this, six other subpoenas were issued to associates of Trump, specifically looking into misinformation about fraud during the 2020 presidental election.
What happens next?
As for the investigation, it remains ongoing.
In terms of this week’s decision by Judge Chutkan, Trump is appealing the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.