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Trump is appealing a lower court’s decision that his records should be turned over to the committee. The Biden administration and the US House are unified in opposing the former President’s efforts to keep the records secret, arguing that more than 700 pages including White House call logs and notes from his top advisers should be available to the probe.
A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments on November 30 in the historic case.
“The Appellees’ clear disdain for President Trump is leading them to a course of action that will result in permanent damage to the institution of the presidency,” lawyers for Trump wrote in their reply brief to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday.
“A current president cannot destroy the confidentiality of Executive Branch communications and the important reliance interests attached to that confidentiality for his own political advantage to the detriment of his predecessors and successors,” they continued.
Trump, now arguing to the appeals court above her, says he should win the case and block the House committee as a “constitutional safeguard” and as a way to protect the executive privilege of the president. He also again asks for the court to look at the documents from his presidency page by page to determine what should stay protected — an approach that would almost certainly drag the document production out over several months or even years.
“The specific analysis of whether each record is properly producible must be completed document-by-document, and not by the scattergun approach advocated by Appellees and the district court,” Trump’s attorneys wrote on Wednesday.
The three-judge appellate panel that will hear the case is already questioning that approach. After receiving the first round of written legal briefs in the case, they asked on Tuesday if the attorneys involved could address during their oral arguments a question of whether the court has the ability to step into the dispute.