Former President Donald J Trump sued Congress and the National Archives on Monday, 18 October, seeking to block the release of White House records related to the 6 January insurrection that he was impeached for inciting.
In a 26-page complaint, Trump’s counsel claiming "executive privilege,” argued that the former president had the right to demand their confidentiality even though he is no longer in office, reported news agency AFP.
Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol nine months ago in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden's election victory. They had been motivated by Trump’s false claims of election fraud.
"The committee's request amounts to nothing less than a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorsed by Biden and designed to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration," says the lawsuit filed in Washington's district court.
The House committee scrutinising the Capitol attack has demanded detailed records about Trump’s every movement on the day of the assault.
“In a political ploy to accommodate his partisan allies, President Biden has refused to assert executive privilege over numerous clearly privileged documents requested by the committee,” the complaint read.
The investigators will also be looking into whether Trump knew about the attack beforehand.
While executive privilege is not mentioned in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has recognised that presidents have some constitutional powers to keep confidential information about their deliberations with their advisers, related to the performance of their constitutional duties.
(With inputs from AFP)