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US judge rejects Trump request to block release of documents to House riot probe

The National Archives, a federal agency that holds Donald Trump’s White House records, is scheduled to give Congress hundreds of pages of documents tomorrow. — Reuters pic

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WASHINGTON, Nov 10 — Former US President Donald Trump yesterday lost another bid to halt congressional investigators from seeing White House record s he wants to keep secret.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan declined to put on hold her ruling from Tuesday allowing a House of Representatives committee to obtain Trump White House records relating to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Trump’s lawyers had asked Chutkan to pause enforcement of her Tuesday ruling while he appeals it to a higher court. Trump made a similar request to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has yet to act on his request.

The National Archives, a federal agency that holds Trump’s White House records, is scheduled to give Congress hundreds of pages of documents tomorrow.

Chutkan’s decision allowed the US House of Representatives committee investigating the attack to access telephone records, visitor logs and other White House documents that Trump wants blocked.

The Republican former president had argued that the materials requested by the committee were covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege that protects the confidentiality of some White House communications.

But Chutkan, in a Tuesday ruling, rejected that argument in a clear win for congressional oversight powers.

The committee has said it needs the requested materials to understand the role Trump may have played in fomenting the riot in which his supporters aimed to block lawmakers from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.

Four people died on January 6, one shot dead by police and the other three of natural causes, and more than 100 police officers were injured in the attack. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the next day and four other police officers who defended the Capitol later died by suicide. — Reuters

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