United States

Judge rules investigators get access to Trump’s records on Capitol riots

13:34, 10 November 2021
Judge rules investigators get access to Trump’s records on Capitol riots Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Consolidated News Photos

The Democrat-backed investigation committee seeks to discover whether the former US President was aware of the incoming events.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan has ruled that a congressional committee can probe into ex-President Donald Trump’s records which date back to January’s Capitol Riots. The investigators seek to determine if Trump had prior knowledge of his supporters’ actions.

Chutkan denied Trump his presidential privilege which would permit him to keep the documents private and ordered the National Archives, the agency in charge of these records, to cooperate with the inquirers.

“The public interest lies in permitting—not enjoining—the combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to and occurred on January 6, and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever occurring again,” the judge wrote in the memo.

The probe is carried out by a special committee formed by the Democrat-led House of Representatives. They have already questioned 16 ex-President’s aides on the matter, including Trump’s former press secretary, senior adviser, campaign manager, and national security adviser, as well as deputy chief of staff.

The ex-President’s strategist Steve Bannon has refused to collaborate with the committee and has been charged with contempt of Congress.

The investigators want to check Trump’s list of phone calls ahead of January 6, as well as visitor logs and other White House records.

It is now expected that the decision will be appealed and transferred to the Supreme Court. Trump’s representatives announced that the ex-President will fight for the presidential right for executive privilege.

The committee’s Head, Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, said that the appeal was an attempt to slow the inquiry down.

The attack on the US Capitol took place at the beginning of the year as Congress was certifying Joe Biden's victory in the presidential elections. Almost 700 Republican supporters have been detained during the protests after Trump claimed that the elections were rigged and encouraged the riots, which cost him a ban on his social media accounts.