Sunday, November 27, 2022
Home POLITICS Trump advocates for executive privilege in the January 6 consultations and Mar-a-Lago

Trump advocates for executive privilege in the January 6 consultations and Mar-a-Lago

In the Jan. 6 investigation, the Justice Department obtained grand jury subpoenas for several former Trump advisers seeking testimony about their conversations. They have been instructed by Trump’s lawyers not to answer questions, based on a broad conception of his residual powers of executive privilege, even though Biden has rejected the idea as not in the best interests of the United States.

A dispute over whether those witnesses can legally refuse to answer certain questions is now playing out behind closed doors before Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, according to people familiar with the matter.

In the document investigation, Trump’s lawyers convinced a judge he appointed in November 2020, Aileen M. Cannon of the Southern District of Florida, to appoint a special master to oversee the verification of some 11,000 documents and records that Trump FBI seized his Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, in August.

Despite objections from the Justice Department, Judge Cannon ruled that Trump can present the case to the special master, and ultimately to her, that some of the documents should be withheld from investigators under executive privilege. She rejected the department’s argument that Trump was entirely prevented from increasing the privilege under these circumstances.

But Judge Cannon has also covered, writing that Mr. Trump should have the ability to invoke the privilege “as an initial matter”, but also suggests that any claim in this context could ultimately fail. For its part, Trump’s legal team has refused to explain why material covered by executive privilege would be off limits to investigators at the Justice Department, a component of the executive branch.

“The Trump team hasn’t been entirely clear in asserting its claims of executive privilege in its early reporting,” said Michael Stern, a former senior adviser to the House Select Committee on Intelligence who writes on issues related to investigations, security national and law. “They have made a broad argument, but it remains to be seen how, exactly, they will make their case as these issues move to the appellate courts.”

Judge Cannon’s special master appointee, Judge Raymond J. Dearie, had instructed Trump’s attorneys to review the seized records and distinguish between those who believe they are simply protected from disclosure to people outside the executive branch, what which is not unusual, and those think that the executive power itself supposedly cannot review, a much more radical proposal. He also wanted them to explain why for each document.


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