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Supreme Court Rejects Donald Trump’s Petition to Try to Block Release of Records the Jan. 6 Committee Already Obtained

Donald Trump and Bennie Thompson

Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the Jan. 6th Committee

Now that the National Archives already released records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, the Supreme Court of the United States unceremoniously jettisoned former President Donald Trump’s petition, which asked whether the committee’s records request ran afoul of the “Constitution or laws of the United States.”

In November, a federal judge reminded Trump that “Presidents are not kings”— and he is no longer president. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit then admonished Trump that “we have one president at a time.”

Not to be discouraged, the 45th president of the United States and his lawyers filed a last-ditch appeal late in December to the Supreme Court, which issued a ruling earlier this year on Jan. 19 denying a stay to block release of the records. The National Archives reportedly turned over requested records to the Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol days later.

In an order list on Tuesday, the high court rejected Trump’s petition for a writ of certiorari, without comment.

The ruling closes the books on a legal battle that began on Oct. 18, when Trump sued the Committee, its chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the National Archives and Records Administration, and its archivist David Ferriero.

Trump asserted executive privilege over 770 pages of documents, including 46 pages of records from the files of former chief of staff Mark Meadows, ex-senior adviser Stephen Miller, and ex-deputy counsel Patrick Philbin, according to court filings.

Trump also reportedly opposed releasing the White House Daily Diary and a call log between him and then-Vice President Mike Pence concerning Jan. 6.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) applauded the ruling.

“Today, the Supreme Court made resoundingly clear that no one is above the law – not even a former president who incited a deadly insurrection,” she said in a statement. “By again rejecting the former president’s attempts to hide documents related to January 6th, the Court’s decision is a victory for the truth, for the rule of law and for the American people.”

Pelosi called the documents “essential to gaining a full picture of the events leading up to, during and after the January 6th attack on our Democracy.”

“Now that the Court has ended the former president’s unlawful and dangerous campaign to hide the truth from the American people, the House’s Select Committee to Investigate January 6th will continue its laser focus on finding the truth of that dark day and ensuring it never happens again,” she wrote.

Trump’s lawyer Jesse Binnall, who unsuccessfully tried to overturn the election results in Georgia with conspiracy theories about the election there, did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s email requesting comment. He recently lost his bid to throw out lawsuits seeking to hold Trump liable for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The surviving claims against Trump include alleged violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act, a Reconstruction-era law designed to deter violence and threats to the ballot by white supremacist and extremist groups.

(Photo of Trump via Pete Marovich for The New York Times; Photo of Rep. Thompson via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."