Former U.S. President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit to prevent White House documents from his tenure as President from being turned over to the Commission of Congress investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
The lawsuit was filed in Washington on Monday to block the investigation into “an illegal and annoying fishing expedition,” the document says. They are therefore asking the federal judiciary to invalidate the Commission’s application for documentation to the National Archives, reports the Politico portal.
In particular, they are demanding that no document falling under the “executive privilege” protecting the President be handed over and, in any event, that they be allowed to review these documents before submitting them to Congress, which can take years.
This lawsuit opens a complex legal battle over the Congressional investigation and executive privileges. The Supreme Court recognized during the Richard Nixon era that former presidents may have a legitimate interest in preventing documents from being released, but Trump’s dispute would be the first dispute between an incumbent president and his predecessor when it comes to executive privileges .
The lawsuit is the result of months of work in response to the Congressional petition to the National Archives requesting all communications from the Trump administration regarding the attack on the Capitol.
The first shipment of documents was reviewed by Trump’s attorneys, who believe that several of these documents would be protected by executive privilege, a concept that in theory only applies if the delivery of these documents interferes with the functioning of government functions. However, the Biden administration supported the delivery of this documentation.