A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked the imminent release of records of former president Donald Trump’s White House calls and activities related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack after a lower court found that President Biden can waive his predecessor’s claim to executive privilege.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a temporary injunction while it considers Trump’s request to hold off any release pending appeal, and fast-tracked oral arguments for a hearing Nov. 30.
The order came after U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of Washington on Tuesday cleared the way for handover of documents to a House investigative committee, ruling that an ex-president’s claim to a residual right to withhold records from Congress after leaving office does not continue in perpetuity.
“The purpose of this administrative injunction is to protect the court’s jurisdiction to address appellant’s claims of executive privilege and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits,” the order said.
If Trump loses in the three-judge panel, he has the option to appeal to the full appeals court or the Supreme Court.
The composition of the appeals court panel is likely to hearten House investigators. The order issued on Thursday indicates that, in addition to Ketanji Brown Jackson, (Biden) the panel includes Judges Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins, who were appointed by former President Barack Obama to the court.
Neither the House or DOJ objected.