Does having once been president of the United States give you lifelong immunity from the scrutiny of your criminal actions while in office?
Apparently, that’s the operative legal strategy being employed by those few lawyers still willing to work with the twice-impeached former president, Donald Trump, as he seeks to shield the records of his administration’s infernal internal machinations from the eager hands of the House Select Committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol.
CNN Crime and Justice reporter Katelyn Polantz reported in a brief article on the network’s website that Trump’s attorneys have “filed a lawsuit in DC District Court against the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection and the National Archives in an effort to keep records from his presidency secret by claiming executive privilege.”
In addition to the committee and its chairman, Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Trump is also suing the National Archives and Records Administration, and David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States.
“Because the Committee’s requests seek to expose confidential and privileged information while lacking ‘a legitimate legislative purpose,’ this Court has the power to declare the requests invalid and to enjoin their enforcement,” Trump’s lawsuit says.
The move brings Trump into direct conflict with his successor, President Joe Biden, who pointedly declined to claim executive privilege for the documents from his predecessor’s tenure in office.
The filing from Trump’s attorneys claims that the Select Committee’s document demands “are unprecedented in their breadth and scope and are untethered from any legitimate legislative purpose,” according to Polantz’s article while calling the Biden administration’s refusal to abide by his privilege request “a political ploy to accommodate his partisan allies.”
The filing also seeks to have the Presidential Records Act declared unconstitutional since Trump claims that it has been “read so broadly as to allow an incumbent President unfettered discretion to waive the previous President’s executive privilege, mere months following an administration change.”
“The Committee’s request amounts to nothing less than a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorses by Biden to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration,” the lawsuit says.
The attempt to halt the disclosure of the about 4o documents that Trump does not want to see released was not interpreted as a move that would be taken by someone who is innocent of the accusations against him by most observers.
Instead, it was widely assumed that Trump is trying to run out the clock on the investigation delaying cooperation in the investigation until it either goes away, is mooted by the next election of a new Congress, or the statute of limitations on his alleged offenses expires.
Stay tuned for more news about the House Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection’s efforts to get the inside view of the conversations among Trump administration officials in the runup to the violent invasion of Congress as more details of the latest confrontation emerge.
Original reporting by Katelyn Polantz at CNN.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.