In what may well wind up proving to be one of the greatest ironies of 2021, former President Donald Trump has filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court in which he cites an article from the Washington Post as proof that the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection is nothing more than a “witch hunt.”
Courthouse News Service notes that Trump, who has repeatedly referred to the media as “fake news” and consistently attacked the Post for daring to report on his actions as president, wants the justices to rule that he can assert executive privilege over records relevant to the ongoing investigation of the Capitol riots:
The article — published hours after the former president asked the high court to review his case — contains an interview from the committee’s chairman, Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, where he says the committee wants information that could determine if they will make a criminal referral to the Justice Department. According to the Post’s reporting, Thompson is particularly interested in different versions of a video Trump recorded asking his supporters to stand down. The committee thinks this information might lead to answers on why it took the former president so long to call off his supporters.
The brief goes on to assert that the Thompson interview is proof positive of the Jan. 6 panel’s lack of authority:
“Now the Washington Post has confirmed what was already apparent — the Committee is indeed seeking any excuse to refer a political rival for criminal charges, and they are using this investigation to do so.”
At issue are more than 800 pages of documents related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, which left five people dead, including a member of the Capitol Police Force.
However, it seems Trump and his attorneys are most worried about versions of a video he shot calling for his supporters to stand down and leave the Capitol. That video wasn’t released for over three hours once the insurrection began:
According to the Post’s reporting, Thompson is particularly interested in different versions of a video Trump recorded asking his supporters to stand down. The committee thinks this information might lead to answers on why it took the former president so long to call off his supporters.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Trump’s appeal when the justices return to work after the first of the year. Most legal experts say the court will refuse to protect the documents from being released to the committee, as only a sitting president can claim executive privilege.
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