Former President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to consider a recent Washington Post interview with the House Jan. 6 select committee chairman in a bid to prevent the panel from obtaining White House records.
Trump’s lawyers on Wednesday filed a supplemental brief that focused on a Dec. 23 Post report in which Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said his panel’s investigation could “warrant” a recommendation to the Justice Department to pursue Capitol attack-related charges against the former president, CNN reported.
The lawyers said the story showed that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan panel — comprised of Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans — was overreaching its authority.
“The Washington Post has confirmed what was already apparent — the Committee is indeed seeking any excuse to refer a political rival for criminal charges, and they are using this investigation to do so,” attorney Jesse Binnall wrote, the Washington Examiner reported.
Binnall added that the committee was acting as “an inquisitorial tribunal seeking evidence of criminal activity,” which is “outside of any of Congress’s legislative powers.”
In the Post interview, Thompson claimed that Trump’s delay in calling for supporters to end their demonstration could lead to a criminal referral to the DOJ.
“That dereliction of duty causes us real concern,” Thompson told the Post. “And one of those concerns is that whether or not it was intentional, and whether or not that lack of attention for that longer period of time, would warrant a referral.”
“I can assure you that if a criminal referral would be warranted, there would be no reluctance on the part of this committee to do that.”
The House and Biden administration were expected to file responses to Trump’s request Thursday, CNN reported.
Trump last week asked the Supreme Court to block the release of White House records sought by the House committee investigating events surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
The former president’s request came two weeks after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Trump had no basis to challenge President Joe Biden’s decision to allow the documents to be handed over.
On Wednesday, The Hill reported that a group of a half-dozen former White House and top Justice Department lawyers who served under Republican presidents have urged the high court to reject Trump’s request.
The group argued in an amicus brief that Trump’s claim of executive privilege over his administration’s records is outweighed by congressional investigators’ pursuit of the facts surrounding the Capitol attack.
Reuters contributed to this story.
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