A federal appeals court on Thursday granted former President Donald Trump‘s request to temporarily halt the release of White House records to lawmakers investigating the deadly Capitol invasion.
The court order came one day before the National Archives was set to begin producing those records to the House select committee probing the Jan. 6 attack. But that move is now on hold as the appeals court considers the case on an abbreviated schedule, with oral argument set for the morning of Nov. 30.
Trump had sued the committee in mid-October to block its pursuit of a tranche of records dating from his time in office. Trump’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall, argued that many of those records are protected by executive privilege, the doctrine that allows some executive branch communications to be kept confidential. But President Joe Biden refused to invoke privilege over the disputed documents.
Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected Binnall’s argument Tuesday night. In a 39-page opinion, Chutkan wrote that Trump’s view “appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity.’ … But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”
Binnall in an emergency request Thursday morning asked the appellate court to briefly pause the release of the contested records while it considers another injunction on a fast-track basis.
The House committee and the National Archives did not oppose the request, Binnall wrote.