Trump refers to the so-called “Executive Privilege”

Former US President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday, demanding that his presidency documents be prevented from being sent to the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Trump’s lawsuit relates to a request made in August by a special investigation committee with the National Archives for access to a wide range of documents relating to the activities and communications of the president and his associates in the period before and after January 6. According to the authority, the documents are intended to answer questions about the participation of the president’s advisers in organizing and coordinating the dramatic events.

Trump’s attorney Jesse Benall accused the committee of “harassing” the former president, claiming that the scope of the requested documents was “unprecedented,” had no apparent connection to the case under investigation, and “has nothing to do with any legitimate legislative objective.”

“The committee’s motion … is intended to conduct an unconstitutional investigation of President Trump and his administration … our laws do not permit such reckless and ostentatious actions against the former president and his close advisors,” the lawsuit said.

Enjoy the “privilege”

Trump refers to the so-called “executive power privilege”, enshrined in legal custom, which gives the president the right to refuse to turn over documents, in order to preserve the secrecy of decisions made by the head of state. Usually, however, it is interpreted as relating only to the current president. However, President Biden did not object to the sending of the documents.

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Trump’s lawsuit is another attempt by those under investigation to complicate the House committee’s work. Last week, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon declined to testify, also citing the privilege of the executive. He did so despite the fact that he was not an official in the White House in the lead-up to the riots. In response, the January 6 commission intends to report him to the Public Prosecution Office, accusing him of not complying with the law.

The committee chair, Democrat Benny Thompson, did not rule out inviting the former chairman himself to testify.

dsk / PAP

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