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Trump looks to appeals court to keep records from Jan. 6 probe after judge rejects emergency bid

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Former President Donald Trump

Yuri Gripas | Reuters

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s emergency request to keep a slew of White House records out of the hands of lawmakers investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol invasion.

The former president’s legal team will now look to an appeals court to halt the release of those records.

The ruling came one day after U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied two different attempts by Trump’s lawyer to block the release of the disputed records to the House select committee conducting that probe.

Chutkan on Tuesday night rejected Trump’s bid to stop the National Archives from giving House investigators a tranche of records from his time in the White House.

Trump’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall, had argued that many of the documents should be kept confidential because they were protected by executive privilege, the doctrine that allows some executive branch dealings to be kept confidential. President Joe Biden had refused to invoke privilege over the disputed documents.

The judge in a 39-page opinion wrote that Trump’s view “appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity’ … But president are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

That ruling came hours after Chutkan denied Binnall’s emergency request for an injunction pending an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The judge denied that request on procedural grounds, calling it “premature” because she had not yet issued a final judgment in the case.

Trump’s lawyer filed a notice of appeal less than an hour after Chutkan’s ruling Tuesday night.

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