The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has delivered a unanimous ruling rejecting former President Donald Trump's efforts to keep archived White House records away from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots.
One particularly notable part of the ruling comes in the three-judge panel's explanation for why Congress is fully justified in seeking Trump's White House records, as the judges argue that Congress has a direct interest in investigating an attack launched against it.
"The January 6th Committee has also demonstrated a sound factual predicate for requesting these presidential documents specifically," the court writes. "There is a direct linkage between the former President and the events of the day."
The judges then explain how Trump's rhetoric incited supporters to commit acts of violence.
"Then-President Trump called for his supporters to gather in Washington, D.C. for a 'wild' response to what he had been alleging for months was a stolen election," the court argues. "On January 6th, President Trump directed his followers to go to the Capitol and 'fight' for their Country with the aim of preventing Congress’s certification of the electoral vote."
The court also argues that congressional investigators need information about what the White House knew about potential threat assessments leading up to the riot, as the White House serves as "the hub for intelligence about threats of violent action against the government, and the Executive Branch is in charge of federal law enforcement and mobilizing the National Guard to defend the Capitol."
Read the whole ruling here (PDF).
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