NOTanother setback for Donald Trump. A court on Thursday (December 9) authorized the transfer to Congress of documents that could implicate the former US president in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. This decision paves the way for the transmission of hundreds of pages of documents to a parliamentary commission charged with shedding light on the role of the former Republican president in this assault. The court, however, leaves him fourteen days to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.
His spokesperson immediately let it be known that he intended to do so. “Whatever decision the court of appeal takes today, this case was always meant to end up in the Supreme Court,” Liz Harrington said on Twitter. The chairman of the commission, elected Democrat Bennie Thompson, and his number two, Republican Liz Cheney, welcomed the court decision. “We will get to the truth,” they said in a statement.
The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also welcomed the decision, saying that “no one should be allowed to stand in the way of the truth”. Donald Trump wants to keep these archives secret, including, among other things, the lists of people who visited or called him that day. The commission in the hands of the Democrats is investigating the attack carried out by his supporters on the seat of Congress, when elected officials certify the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election.
The former president, who denies any responsibility for the assault, denounces “a political game” and refuses to collaborate. He took legal action in the name of a prerogative of the executive power to keep his communications confidential, even in the event of summons issued by Congress.
Conclusions expected before the midterm elections, in less than a year
After initial conflicting judgments, the appeals court ruled on Thursday that it had no reason to go against the decision of current White House tenant Joe Biden, who authorized the National Archives to deliver these documents to Congress. “In this case, a rare and powerful set of factors support (the) making public the documents in question (…) given the need to investigate and remedy the violent and unprecedented attack on Congress”, wrote Judge Patricia Millett of the Federal Court of Appeal in Washington.
This decision represents an important victory in the race against time initiated by the special committee of the House of Representatives. She wants at all costs to publish her conclusions before the mid-term elections, in less than a year, during which the Republicans could regain control of the House and bury its work. With this deadline in mind, the commission is moving forward: it has already heard more than 300 witnesses, Liz Cheney said Thursday. But the former tenant of the White House urged those around him to close ranks.
One of the architects of his victory in 2016, the sulphurous Steve Bannon, snubbed the invitations to Congress and was charged with obstructing the prerogatives of parliamentary inquiry, which is why he faces jail. Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, risks the same fate. The committee will meet on Monday to decide whether to recommend prosecution. “Don’t be fooled: President Trump is trying to cover up what happened on January 6,” Liz Cheney warned on Twitter. “We will not let this happen,” she warned.