In his column for Bloomberg, Donald Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien explained that the former president's big loss in a D.C. Appeals Court over keeping documents from the National Archives out of the hand of the House committee investigating the Jan 6th insurrection will likely suffer the same fate if and when it gets to the Supreme Court.
In a scathing and deeply researched decision from the unanimous court, the judges left no doubt that the former president has no right to restrict the materials while also noting they observed a direct line between the president and the Jan 6th insurrection.
According to O'Brien, who has written extensively about Trump's financial dealings and courtroom battles, writes the Supreme Court's history with the now-former president indicates he shouldn't expect an outcome that will be favorable to him.
As O'Brien notes about case before the appeals court, "That ferocious tableau, evoking domestic terrorism, informed the court’s perspective on the gravity and necessity of the January 6th Committee’s investigation. The court catalogued the various records the committee has sought, including call and visitor logs, calendars, schedules, and the like, and noted that Trump provided some while recently trying to exclude others by claiming privilege."
"After a tour of relevant case law, the court concluded its ruling by returning to the fundamentals informing its decision," the Bloomberg columnist wrote. "That’s about as clear, blunt and principled as you can get. It’s not clear whether the nation’s highest court will agree, however, or how it might view the novel problem of two presidents disagreeing about the scope of executive privilege."
However, he wrote, if the court's history with Trump is any guide -- and the conservative justices stick to their principles -- the former president is unlikely to expect a win.
"The Supreme Court, dominated by its conservative justices, has already given a clear indication of how it views Trump’s fetish for an imperial presidency unfettered by other branches of government or by the rule of law," O'Brien recalled. "Last year, it ruled that Trump had to turn over his tax returns to local prosecutors in New York investigating him and his company for criminal fraud – despite his claims that presidents should be shielded from such requests."
Cautioning, "That doesn’t mean the court will come down in the same place regarding the Jan. 6 inquiry, of course," he added, "But if it doesn’t, it will be hard-pressed to make an argument that demonstrates its commitment to the rule of law while it simultaneously neuters an investigation of a lawless coup attempt."
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