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On CNN Monday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), a member of the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack, tore apart former Trump adviser Steve Bannon's reasoning for defying congressional subpoenas.
"Your select committee just told Steve Bannon once again that he must comply with the subpoena or face possible criminal contempt charges," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "He had until 6 p.m. half an hour ago, to submit a written response if he feels there are any other issues. As far as you know, did he respond?"
"So far as I'm aware, he did not," said Lofgren. "At least I've not been advised by staff that he has. His claim of executive privilege is just really a stretch. First, he was not even an employee of the White House or the federal government and so would not ordinarily be covered by any executive privilege claim. Further, even if that weren't the case, we want to talk to him about conversations he had. The plot that he may have held with other people, with organizers in the political arena. With political figures. Both in the Congress and in state legislatures. That has nothing to do with his communications with the former president."
She then warned that the committee's patience had run out.
"You can't just say, well, I'm not coming in," continued Lofgren. "The law requires when a subpoena has been dually issued, as this one was, to come in and make your case. State your case about why you think you are excused from telling the truth. He didn't even do that. So we feel this is behavior is outrageous. Outrageous behavior on the part of Mr. Bannon. We will have a discussion tomorrow night. Take a vote on whether to refer this to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution."
Zoe Lofgren slams Steve Bannon's "outrageous" defiance of Congress www.youtube.com
Donald Trump has just filed a lawsuit to block the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack from being granted access to a mountain of documents from his four years as president held by the National Archives.
Legal experts are weighing in on this latest attempt by the former president to obstruct a lawful investigation.
NBC News reports Trump's lawsuit "says the committee's subpoena is invalid because it has no power of investigation," and it "says the material should be protected by executive privilege," which is also false, according to countless legal experts who have been commenting on that claim for weeks.
Trump is "requesting that the court invalidate the committee's requests and enjoin the archivist from turning over the records in question. At a bare minimum, the court should enjoin the archivist from producing any potentially privileged records until President Trump is able to conduct a full privilege review of all of the requested materials."
Top national security lawyer Bradley Moss appears to be enjoying mocking the lawsuit:
Reminder: the Trump lawsuit means nothing if he doesn’t file an immediate motion for a temporary restraining order… https://t.co/mrrFPm35pV— Bradley P. Moss (@Bradley P. Moss) 1634592883.0
I cannot stop laughing at the pathetic premise of Trump's lawsuit that the Presidential Records Act must be unconst… https://t.co/XDsnUpXFky— Bradley P. Moss (@Bradley P. Moss) 1634590687.0
This rivals the Kraken lawsuits for poorly written lawsuits. I can’t even with this …. https://t.co/n4LK0KxjHb— Bradley P. Moss (@Bradley P. Moss) 1634590356.0
CNN's Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide who has a law degree from Harvard Law weighed in on the news by blasting Trump, saying: “This guy has spent his entire career bluffing his way through life, evading responsibility, dodging accountability, and filing frivolous lawsuits to distract and delay. Justice means nothing in America if Trump is not held accountable for his crimes."
Attorney and upcoming author Luppe B. Luppen:
Trump’s team is seeking either a judicial declaration that the 1/6 committee lacks a legislative purpose (which has… https://t.co/vV5wdGuNtv— southpaw (@southpaw) 1634592457.0
Former Obama White House attorney, now a Law Professor at Cardozo Law and Supreme Court contributor for ABC News calls the suit "remarkably thin."
Former President Donald Trump testified in a lawsuit Monday, but when it comes to subpoenas involving the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, he's blocking any access to information, interviews, or witnesses who worked for him.
Monday afternoon, Trump's team announced they were suing the Capitol riot committee to block its subpoenas.
Trump's lawyers argue that the subpoenas are "almost limitless in scope," and that the committee wants records that have nothing to do with Jan. 6. The committee, however, has said that they are looking not only at Jan. 6 but the organizational efforts that led to the riots, as well as Trump's work to gin up anger ahead of Jan. 6 that led to the violence.
Discussing the lawsuit, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace seized on the comments in Trump's statement saying that the laws don't "permit such an impulsive, egregious action against a former president and his close advisors."
"And I thought back to scenes from your book," Wallace said to Washington Post reporter Carol Leonig. "The vice president is refusing to leave [the Capitol]. How much fear is there from the ex-president that this probe may be the one to turn his White House inside out?"
Leonig agreed with the word "fear," noting that it's clear the Trump camp is afraid of this specific committee and investigation.
"I can't speak for the former president, but in that camp — about the fact that he's no longer in control," she said. "He's no longer the person who has the power to have definitively defined whether or not there's executive privilege that shields these documents from public review."
She said that just from reading the language in the public records laws on the books, "the presidential records law, in this case, it's clear that the sitting president and the recently former president have a right to review and question whether or not these documents can be shared. But it's also clear, under the executive order that governs this, that the sitting president has the preeminence and that you're not allowed to decide how the records law applies to you. For example, in this suit, President Trump says -- former President Trump says he wants to see all the records that are sought before he agrees, whether or not they should be shared. Well, that's not what the rules are. He says he wants to challenge everything about this request, but this is a special request for Congress to be able to see these, not for public release immediately, but for Congress and its fact-finding mission to see those records and thus far, every single part of that law has been followed."
Trump's lawyers have seen the records, she said, and they already know what will and won't be shared.
"As you point out, if the president, the former president, is so sure that nothing bad happened, and he was not engaged in anything inappropriate, then he should be able to see from the records he personally has reviewed already whether or not there's a problem," said Leonig. "And I don't think executive privilege is the issue."
Harry Litman, a former deputy attorney general, wondered if there was something to trigger Trump recently into filing the lawsuit.
"Under the legal scheme, the archivist of the United States, someone no one's ever heard of, David Ferrero, gave him 30 days notice last Wednesday and said, [President Joe] Biden has told me that there's no executive privilege here and as Carol says, that should be definitive," Litman said. "And I'm going to be turning it over. Here are your 30 days to look at it. He's determined that he's got to try to somehow stop the music and get the courts involved now before it gets turned over because once it's in Congress's hands, it's going to be too late."
Litman called it "a sort of desperate ploy that recycles arguments that already were lousy when he was president." He cited the claim that Congress is outside of its legislative function or that the executive privilege determination is somehow wrong.
"But the play here is to get it gummed up in the courts," said Litman.
See the full discussion below:
Trump's subpoena and lawsuit www.youtube.com
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