US SC clears way for Capitol riot probe panel to get presidential records

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The US Supreme Court has ruled that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot can access records related to the deadly attack, dealing a blow to former President Donald Trump’s effort to withhold the documents.

The committee has been seeking over 700 pages worth of documents as it tries to find out what role Trump played during the riot, reports Xinhua news agency.

The former President disputed the transfer of the files on the grounds that they are under protection by his executive privilege.

President Joe Biden has refused to grant his predecessor the executive privilege, and subsequent lawsuits filed by Trump’s legal team have failed in the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

In an unsigned opinion, the Supreme Court acknowledged there are “serious and substantial concerns” over whether a former president can win a court ruling to prevent the disclosure of certain records from his time in the White House in such a situation.

Justice Clarence Thomas was alone in noting that he would have granted Trump’s request not to release the records, which included presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes detailing what happened inside Trump’s inner circle on the day of the riot.

The high court’s ruling cleared the legal impediment to transferring the records from the National Archives to House investigators.

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