Judge refuses Trump request to delay release of Jan. 6 docs amid appeal
A federal judge on Wednesday declined to delay a Friday deadline for the National Archives to begin handing over Trump administration documents to the House January 6 Select Committee.
Lawyers for former President Trump had asked for a stay after U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected his lawsuit seeking to block the documents from being released while he appeals.
In a six-page decision on Wednesday, Chutkan, an Obama appointee, denied Trump’s request for a temporary stay for essentially the same reasons that she ruled against blocking the documents from being handed over.
“In his renewed motion, despite the fact that he requests essentially the same relief as in his original preliminary injunction motion, Plaintiff has not advanced any new facts or arguments that persuade the court to reconsider its November 9, 2021, Order,” Chutkan said in her decision.
“The court’s analysis previously rejecting Plaintiff’s requested relief is thus equally applicable here: Plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits of his claims or suffer irreparable harm, and a balance of the equities and public interest bear against granting his requested relief,” she added.
The move will likely mean that Trump’s legal team will have to scramble ahead of Friday’s deadline to get an emergency stay from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. If that fails, Trump will have to ask the Supreme Court to take action.
An attorney for the former president did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
Chutkan ruled on Tuesday that Trump’s claims of executive privilege over the requested National Archives documents was outweighed by the fact that President Biden had waived privilege.
“Plaintiff does not acknowledge the deference owed to the incumbent President’s judgment. His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity,'” Chutkan wrote in a 39-page opinion. “But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”
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