An appeals court in the United States has denied temporarily a request by US Capitol riot investigators for access to records from ex-President Donald Trump’s White House.
This ruling is two days after the court had ordered that the documents be handed over to the leading congressional inquiry committee.
Legislators are trying to determine if Trump was aware of the riot.
Trump supporters stormed Capitol building as Congress was convening to verify the election result on 6 January.
Donald Trump refused to admit that he lost the election last year to President Joe Biden, and made claims of voter fraud – but without any evidence.
A committee created by the House of Representatives and dominated by President Biden’s Democrats is conducting this inquiry.
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Panel members want to review phone records and visitor logs from the White House in order to gain insight into events that led up to attack on Congress.
However, on Thursday the US Court of Appeals put a temporary stop to a lower court order that the trove be handed over by Friday.
According to the appeals court, a hearing will be scheduled for 30 November. Three judges will hear the case, who were chosen at random according to US media. They were all appointed by Democratic presidents.
The lawyers for Mr Trump had stated in an emergency appeal to the appeals courts that the client might suffer irreparable harm due to “the effective denial of constitutional and statutory rights to be fully listened to on a serious disagreement among the incumbent and former Presidents”.
It is probable that the Supreme Court will be involved in this legal dispute.
Trump, who is a Republican has claimed that the White House communications were covered by executive privilege. Presidential documents are not allowed to be revealed under this privilege. However, Mr Biden waived the executive privilege.
US District Judge Tanya Chutkan rebuffed Mr Trump’s claim on Tuesday. She wrote in a 39-page ruling: “Presidents don’t kings. Plaintiff isn’t President.”
Over the course of the week, dozens upon dozens subpoenas were issued by the House Select Committee to ex-Trump officials. These requests asked for information and witnesses about the riot.
Kayleigh McEnany is the White House Press Secretary. Stephen Miller was Trump’s Senior Advisor. Mark Meadows was a former White House Chief of Staff and Michael Flynn was formerly a National Security Advisor.
Mr Meadows informed the committee on Thursday that he was refusing to cooperate with them until they receive a final judge’s decision. This prompted the top investigator of the committee to threaten Meadows with criminal contempt.
After the Capitol Riot, Trump was impeached in the lower House of Congress but cleared in the upper, Republican-dominated Senate of inciting insurrection.
Over 670 people were detained for their involvement in the attack on the Capitol.
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