Thompson named in Trump lawsuit seeking to block release of Capitol riot records

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Former President Donald Trump is suing the leaders of the House Committee tasked with investigating the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol, including Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson. 

The lawsuit was filed by the former president in an effort to block the committee’s efforts in obtaining records from the National Archives related to the events surrounding the riot after the White House shared that it would not assert executive privilege. 

Filed in a Washington D.C court, the former president’s legal team alleges that the request is being made as part of a “political ploy.”

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 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. Our laws do not permit such an impulsive, egregious action against a former President and his close advisors.

Congressman Thompson is being sued in his official capacity as the Chairman of the Committee alongside the committee itself. Additionally, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero and the National Archives are also named in the lawsuit. 

Thompson and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney issued the following statement in response the lawsuit Monday. 

“The former President’s clear objective is to stop the Select Committee from getting to the facts about January 6th and his lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to delay and obstruct our probe. Precedent and law are on our side. Executive privilege is not absolute and President Biden has so far declined to invoke that privilege. Additionally, there’s a long history of the White House accommodating congressional investigative requests when the public interest outweighs other concerns. It’s hard to imagine a more compelling public interest than trying to get answers about an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn the results of an election,” the statement reads.

The riot led to the impeachment of then-President Trump in the House on a charge of inciting an insurrection. So far, 674 individuals have been charged for their participation in the incident.

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