The House select committee tasked with probing the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court for help.
According to the Washington Examiner, the panel is petitioning the nation’s highest court to prevent former President Donald Trump’s attempt to block the release of records from his administration.
Trump moves to block release of docs
The Democratic-led committee has been attempting to review the Trump-era documents and claims they are necessary to complete its investigation.
For his part, the former president has argued that the requested material is protected by executive privilege.
Thus far, Trump has come up short in making his case. President Joe Biden opted to override his claims of privilege and ordered the documents to be handed over to the House committee.
Trump responded with a lawsuit, but lower courts have ruled against him.
Most recently, the ex-president petitioned the Supreme Court as a last resort. Earlier this week, he urged justices to consider a recent Washington Post interview with committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) as proof that the panel is overstepping its authority.
“Not taking the invitation off the table”
Thompson asserted that the committee could recommend that the Department of Justice pursue criminal charges against Trump in connection with the riot. Now, the committee is asking the Supreme Court to reject Trump’s petition.
In a court briefing, members argued that the panel “urgently needs the documents at issue to inform its forthcoming hearings and reports.”
Noting that the committee’s authorization is set to expire on Jan. 3, the briefing maintained that any delays in court would “handicap” its investigation. It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court, which is also being asked to weigh in on the committee’s decision to hold subpoenaed individuals in contempt for noncompliance, will ultimately involve itself in the politically charged case.
For his part, Thompson has signaled a desire to compel the testimony of various high-ranking GOP officials, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“If he has information he wants to share with us, and is willing to voluntarily come in, I’m not taking the invitation off the table,” the Mississippi Democrat said, according to the Daily Mail. “If Leader McCarthy has nothing to hide, he can voluntarily come before the committee.”