Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against the January 6th Select Committee and the National Archives in his latest desperate attempt to prevent the committee from acquiring White House records related to the insurrection, Politico reported on Monday.
The lawsuit, which was filed in D.C. district court on Monday, called the congressional inquiry into the events surrounding the Capitol attack “a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition,” and argued that a federal judge should deny the committee’s request for documents from the National Archives because the requests are “invalid and unenforceable.” Not only that, Trump’s lawyers want the court to stop the archives from turning over any materials to Congress related to the investigation. Instead, they say, according to Politico, the Archives should first identify all Trump White House documents that might apply to the committee’s request. The Archives should then let Trump’s lawyers examine them thoroughly before Congress can see them, a time-consuming process.
Last month, Trump attempted to claim executive privilege to suppress the release of “communications within and among the White House and Executive Branch agencies” surrounding January 6th, records that the committee requested in August. The White House last week officially rejected Trump’s executive privilege request to prevent a batch of documents from going to the committee. Explaining the decision, White House Counsel Dana Remus wrote that Trump using executive privilege “is not in the best interests of the United States.”
“The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself,” Remus added.
Trump’s lawyers argue in the lawsuit that the committee’s investigation is a “misguided attempt to intimidate and harass President Trump and his supporters under the guise of investigating the events of January 6th, 2021.”
In a statement to Politico, Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich said, “Today, President Donald J. Trump filed a lawsuit in defense of the Constitution, the Office of the President, and the future of our nation, all of which the sham Unselect Committee is trying to destroy. The fact is America is under assault by Pelosi’s Communist-style attempt to silence and destroy America First patriots through this hyper-partisan and illegitimate investigation.”
The committee has also requested personnel records to examine whether the administration installed political loyalists into government positions after Trump lost the 2020 election, as well as “documents and communications related to the mental stability of Donald Trump or his fitness for office.”
Trump’s decision to sue the committee was probably only a matter of time. As has been made abundantly clear over decades in the public eye, filing lawsuits is one of the former president’s favorite ways to solve disagreements.