Trump's claim of executive privilege over Jan 6 documents is designed to 'run out the clock on a legislative inquiry': op-ed

Former President Donald Trump is suing to stop the Biden administration from making public documents that could show evidence of his intent in regards to efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 election.

Even if Trump's lawsuit fails, the simple act of filing it could delay things long enough to push back any revelations into 2022 or beyond. "By the time of any resolution, the Democrats may have lost Congress and the matter could simply vanish," POLITICO's Aziz Huq writes.

"That means the select committee and the White House must think creatively — and do so now — to ensure they get full access to the information they need," Hug continues. "Fortunately, there are at least two paths to this end: one running via the courts, and the other through Joe Biden's office. Either approach will ensure Trump can't use the legal process strategically to thwart the rule of law and will steer the probe away from the morass that so often dooms congressional oversight."

Nevertheless from a legal point of view, Huq contends that Trump's lawsuit is "weak" from a legal point of view, citing a 1977 Supreme Court ruling that former presidents' constitutional interest in their confidential papers is limited.

The Court found that an "incumbent President" was "in the best position to assess the present and future needs of the Executive Branch," and hence "to support invocation of the privilege." In other words, it's up to President Joe Biden to decide whether or not Trump deserves confidentiality.

"Given that Trump's constitutional claim to control disclosure is so weak, why should there be a worry about the House committee's trajectory? The problem is that litigation between Congress and the executive over disclosure has become so protracted that it can be used to run out the clock on a legislative inquiry, even absent a meritorious claim."

Read Huq's full op-ed over at POLITICO.