SRN - Political News

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A lawyer for former President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked a U.S. appeals court to keep records about his conversations and actions before and during the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a mob of his supporters away from congressional investigators.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in Trump’s appeal of a judge’s decision that the White House records should be released to a congressional committee.

At the start of the hearing, which is ongoing, the three judges on the panel questioned Trump lawyer Jesse Binnall over whether courts even have jurisdiction to hear the former president’s claims.

“All three branches of government have acknowledged there is a right of former presidents to challenge the designation and release of presidential records,” Binnall responded.

The House of Representatives select committee investigating the riot has asked the National Archives, the U.S. agency housing Trump’s White House records, to produce visitor logs, phone records and written communications between his advisers. The panel has said it needs the records to understand any role Trump may have played in fomenting the violence.

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to prevent Congress from formally certifying his 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Shortly before the riot, Trump gave a speech to his supporters repeating his false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud and urging them to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to “stop the steal.”

Trump sued the committee and the National Archives to try to prevent the release. In court filings, Trump’s lawyers called the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated, and argued that the documents sought by the committee are protected by executive privilege, a legal doctrine that allows presidents to keep private some of their conversations with advisers.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Nov. 9 rejected Trump’s arguments, saying the Republican former president had not acknowledged the “deference owed” to Biden’s determination as president that the House committee could access the materials.

“While broad, these requests, and each of the other requests made by the Committee, do not exceed the Committee’s legislative powers,” Chutkan said in her decision. “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

The D.C. Circuit put off allowing the committee to access the records while it considers the matter. The three judges on the appeals panel randomly assigned to the case were appointed to the judiciary by either Biden or former President Barack Obama, both Democrats.

If Trump loses at the D.C. Circuit, he could take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump also has directed associates to stonewall the committee, which has sought testimony and records from a number of them. His former chief strategist Steve Bannon already has been charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for defying the committee, pleading not guilty.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham and Scott Malone)


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By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers on Tuesday are set to ask a U.S. appeals court to keep records about his conversations and actions before and during the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a mob of his supporters away from congressional investigators.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has scheduled an oral argument for 9:30 a.m. ET (1430 GMT) on Trump’s appeal of a judge’s decision that the White House records should be released to a congressional committee.

The House of Representatives select committee investigating the riot has asked the National Archives, the U.S. agency housing Trump’s White House records, to produce visitor logs, phone records and written communications between his advisers. The panel has said it needs the records to understand any role Trump may have played in fomenting the violence.

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to prevent Congress from formally certifying his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Shortly before the riot, Trump gave a speech to his supporters repeating his false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud and urging them to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to “stop the steal.”

Trump sued the committee and the National Archives to try to prevent the release. In court filings, Trump’s lawyers called the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated, and argued that the documents sought by the committee are protected by executive privilege https://www.reuters.com/world/us/can-trump-use-executive-privilege-block-jan-6-attack-probe-2021-09-09, a legal doctrine that allows presidents to keep private some of their conversations with advisers.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Nov. 9 rejected https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-judge-denies-trump-bid-block-jan-6-select-committee-investigation-2021-11-09 Trump’s arguments, saying the Republican former president had not acknowledged the “deference owed” to Biden’s determination as president that the House committee could access the materials.

“While broad, these requests, and each of the other requests made by the Committee, do not exceed the Committee’s legislative powers,” Chutkan said in her decision. “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

The D.C. Circuit put off allowing the committee to access the records while it considers the matter. The three judges on the appeals panel randomly assigned to the case were appointed to the judiciary by either Biden or former President Barack Obama, both Democrats.

If Trump loses at the D.C. Circuit, he could take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump also has directed associates to stonewall the committee, which has sought testimony and records from a number of them. His former chief strategist Steve Bannon already has been charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for defying the committee, pleading not guilty https://www.reuters.com/world/us/former-trump-adviser-bannon-enters-plea-not-guilty-obstructing-jan-6-2021-11-17.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham Scott Malone)


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden, racing to stay ahead of a new COVID-19 variant and rising inflation, travels to Minnesota on Tuesday to highlight the benefits of his $1-trillion infrastructure law and push for passage of a separate $1.75-trillion spending measure.

Biden will visit Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, a suburb near Minneapolis and St. Paul, which has programs to train workers to build, operate, and maintain infrastructure supported by the infrastructure law.

He will focus on how the law will “deliver concrete results for communities, create good-paying union jobs, and position America to compete and win the 21st century,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.

She said Dakota County Tech, which serves 2,900 credit students and 10,000 non-credit students, offered an example of institutions nationwide that will train the next generation of workers and rebuild America’s infrastructure.

The infrastructure law, coupled with $24 billion in investments in the $1.75-trillion “Build Back Better” spending measure, will prepare millions of workers for high-quality jobs in growing economic sectors, the White House said.

Biden had pushed to include two years of free community college in the massive spending package, but that funding was cut in a compromise with moderate Democrats concerned about the bill’s steep price tag.

It still includes $5 billion for community colleges to expand workforce training programs in partnership with employers, unions, public systems and community bodies, with $5 billion for large-scale training for jobs in high-demand sectors such as clean energy, manufacturing, education and caregiving.

Under the infrastructure law, Minnesota will receive $4.5 billion in federal aid to rebuild highways, about $302 million for bridges, and $818 million to improve public infrastructure, the White House said.

It will also fund expansion of a network to charge electric vehicles and measures to give state residents access to high-speed internet.

 

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


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