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Capitol insurrection: Laurence Tribe says Donald Trump's lawsuit to block records from House Committee is 'laughable'
Twice-impeached former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against the House Committee to block records from his White House related to the Capitol insurrection and on January 6 from being turned over. Former Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe weighed in on the suit, saying that the former president’s reasons to block the records were “laughable.”
Speaking on CNN Wednesday, Tribe was asked to weigh in on the suit that would prevent the House Committee from obtaining his records from the White House related to or on January 6 when the insurrection took place. Trump has claimed executive privilege as his reason to block the release, as well as that it is unconstitutional for current US President Joe Biden to override his claim of executive privilege. The executive privilege claim was also cited by Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon as his reason for defying a subpoena by the House Committee.
Tribe said that the former president’s reasoning would be seen as too weak to convince DC judge Tanya Chutkan, who has been assigned with the lawsuit. “His claim that he is not trying to hide the truth, but to preserve the Constitution is really quite laughable,” said the former Harvard law professor.
“His claim that it would be unconstitutional for the current president’s view of executive privilege to trump his view, that is, the former president’s view, is also mistaken,” Tribe explained. “Although the former president’s view will be taken into account. His claim that the executive privilege, if it does apply, and the attorney-client privilege, if it applies are absolute has been rejected repeatedly by the courts. Those privileges sometimes have the crime-fraud exception for information that is part and parcel of a crime, like an insurrection or an attempted coup.”
The House has also ultimately voted to hold Bannon in criminal contempt for his defiance of the subpoena. The vote was done mostly by party lines, with nine Republicans voting in favor along with the Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signed the criminal contempt referral for Bannon, which has been turned over to the US attorney’s office in Washington DC.
It remains to be seen whether the DOJ will move forward to prosecute Bannon.