Appeals court temporarily blocks order to release Trump White House docs

Former President Donald Trump hit a hurdle in court recently in his bid to prevent the National Archives from releasing White House documents to a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot.

According to reports, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has since stepped in to temporarily block that lower court ruling to release the subpoenaed documents. 

“Presidents are not kings”

The Associated Press detailed the ruling handed down on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who would not honor Trump’s claim of executive privilege over the materials in question. In the end, this matter is “a dispute” between a current and former president, according to her ruling.

“And the Supreme Court has already made clear that in such circumstances, the incumbent’s view is accorded greater weight,” she continued.

The judge went on to accuse Trump of failing to acknowledge “the deference owed” to his successor, adding: “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

Trump’s team responded by requesting a stay on the Chutkan order, which was granted two days later and gave his attorneys time to file an appeal.

The court ultimately ordered “that an administrative injunction be entered and appellees the National Archives and Records Administration and the Archivist be enjoined from releasing the records requested by the House Select Committee over which appellant asserts executive privilege, pending further order of this court.”

“Important constitutional issues”

The former president’s legal team wrote that the case is poised to address “novel and important constitutional issues of first impression concerning separation of powers, presidential records, and executive privilege.”

As the attorneys argued, “this motion seeks only a brief pause in the production” and “will not prejudice the other arguments or requests to be made by the parties in this important appeal.”

Those arguments are said to have come after Trump attorney Jesse Binnall filed a separate motion on Tuesday suggesting that the court need not be bound by congressionally imposed time constraints.

Instead, he contended that the matter “should be decided after thorough but expeditious consideration pursuant to America’s judicial review process, both before this Court and on appeal, not by a race against the clock.”

Binnall is now preparing to appear before a three-judge panel later this month to deliver oral arguments.

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