Washington, U.S. | Xinhua | A U.S. federal appeals court on Thursday temporarily paused the release of the Donald Trump administration records sought by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, one day before some of the records were due to be transferred from the National Archives.
A three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction, postponing the handover of the records to allow Trump to continue his legal challenge.
“The purpose of this administrative injunction is to protect the court’s jurisdiction to address (Trump’s) claims of executive privilege and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits,” the panel said in a brief order, which also scheduled oral arguments over the case for Nov. 30.
Thursday’s ruling came one day ahead of the Friday 6 p.m. ET deadline for the select committee to receive 46 records, including White House call logs, visitor logs, drafts of speeches and handwritten memos from Trump’s then chief of staff Mark Meadows.
In all, some 700 pages of records are expected to be handed to the House investigators in the coming weeks from the National Archives, which keeps those records.
Trump has been in a legal fight to prevent the release of the records, threatening to exert executive privilege.
President Joe Biden has refused to intervene in the records transfer, denying Trump of his executive privilege in the investigation. The Trump team then sued the select committee and the National Archives in the District Court in D.C. in October.
Judge Tanya Chutkan of the District Court, however, twice rejected Trump’s attempts to keep those records secret on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting the former president to turn to the D.C. Circuit to head off the Friday deadline.