WASHINGTON – Former US President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Monday (Oct 18) against the US congressional committee investigating the deadly Jan 6 attack on the Capitol, alleging it made an illegal, unfounded and overbroad request for his White House records.
Trump asserted in the lawsuit filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia that materials sought by the Jan 6 Select Committee are covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some communications between White House officials.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the panel’s request for materials.
Many legal experts have said Trump, as the former president, cannot lawfully use executive privilege to block subpoenas issued by the House committee.
A mob of Trump supporters stormed the seat of Congress on Jan 6 in a failed bid to prevent lawmakers from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory. More than 600 people now face criminal charges stemming from the event.
Earlier this month, Biden authorized the National Archives, a government agency that holds records from Trump’s time in office, to turn over an initial batch of documents requested by the Select Committee.
In addition to Trump White House records, the Jan 6 Select Committee has issued subpoenas demanding testimony from Trump advisers, including political strategist Steve Bannon.
Bannon has refused to provide testimony until Trump’s assertion of executive privilege has been resolved by a court or through negotiations with the committee.
The committee said last week it would formally ask the US Justice Department to bring criminal charges against Bannon because of his defiance of the subpoena.