Donald Trump
Judge Blocks Trump’s Executive Privilege Claim: What Documents Will Jan. 6 Panel Get? Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Three federal appellate judges might reject withholding Donald Trump's White House notes, calls logs that could help in the investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Patricia Millett, one of the three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit panel that heard arguments Tuesday in the case, said that America has "one president at a time under our constitution." She added that incumbent President, Joe Biden, has made the judgment and is best positioned, as "the Supreme Court has told us, to make that call as to the interests of the executive branch.”

While questioning Trump’s attorneys, the judges expressed skepticism that a former President could override a decision by the one who is currently holding the office to release documents to Congress, especially when the sitting President has decided it’s in the national interest to share documents with investigators, reported Politico.

Millett and fellow judges Ketanji Brown Jackson and Robert Wilkins are all Democratic appointees to the appeals court, and they had concerns about allowing an ex-President to intervene in negotiations between Congress and the current President.

Jackson, who was Biden’s appointee to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, appeared to be most amenable to the current administration’s position. She even said that to second-guess Biden’s judgment, it would lead to separation of powers concerns for the courts. On the other hand, Millett and Wilkins were appointees of former President Barack Obama and it looked like they were more receptive to some of Trump’s arguments even though the two didn't seem inclined to rule in favor of the former President.

In October, Trump sued the House select committee as part of his efforts to stop the National Archives from giving them certain documents. On the other hand, Biden allowed the National Archives to comply with the House committee's request regarding the records, according to CBS News.

Earlier, judge Tanya Chutkan rejected Trump’s claims that he could override Biden and exert executive privilege, and said, “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not president.” After her ruling to review the case, the appeals court issued an administrative stay. Trump’s attorneys said in their appeal to the circuit court that they agreed that Presidents were not kings, but in that same vein, "Congress is not Parliament - a legislative body with supreme and unchecked constitutional power over the operations of government," reported Associated Press. The documents should be withheld to protect executive privilege for future American presidents, said Trump.

Meanwhile, the court's ruling, which might be announced in the coming days, could determine whether the committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot could gain access to Trump’s White House records. They are important as the documents shed light on his efforts to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s win and subvert last year's election. If they lose, Trump’s attorneys have indicated they plan to appeal.

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Oct. 09, 2021 in Des Moines, Iowa. This is Trump's first rally in Iowa since the 2020 election. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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