Former President Donald Trump has asked a federal appeals court to briefly stop the release of key White House records from his presidency to the House January 6 committee while he appeals a lower court's decision that he can't claim executive privilege to keep them secret.
The filing is a last-ditch effort ahead of a Friday 6 p.m. ET deadline for the House committee investigating the Capitol attack to receive 46 records, including White House call logs, visitor logs, drafts of speeches and three handwritten memos from Trump's then-chief of staff Mark Meadows.
In total, more than 700 documents from Trump's presidency are expected to be turned over by the National Archives to the committee in the coming weeks.
Judge Tanya Chutkan twice rejected Trump's bid for a preliminary injunction to prevent the National Archives from complying with document request, noting in a Wednesday night ruling that Trump's attorneys did not put forward new legal arguments or new facts to alter her previous ruling that held executive privilege belongs to the office -- not the individual.
"In this appeal, the Court will consider novel and important constitutional issues of first impression concerning separation of powers, presidential records, and executive privilege," Trump's attorneys wrote Thursday.
In a ruling Tuesday, Chutkan wrote, "Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President."
The former President filed a lawsuit last month in DC District Court, claiming executive privilege and alleging that the House's requests for documents are "unprecedented in their breadth and scope" and illegitimate.
The Biden White House has declined to intervene to block access to the Trump records. The Biden administration has said in a filing to Chutkan that Trump, as the former President, "has no personal interest in the records," and that the Biden White House's decision to allow these presidential records to go to Congress should stand.
On Wednesday, the House committee wrote that it needs the Trump White House records quickly so it can continue investigating the attack on Congress.
"The potential harm to the public is immense: Our democratic institutions and a core feature of our democracy — the peaceful transfer of power — are at stake," the committee wrote. It added that a delay will hinder its ability to "timely complete a comprehensive investigation and recommend effective remedial legislation."
This story has been updated.
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