After the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection subpoenaed National Archives records regarding former President Donald Trump's actions leading up to that day, the Biden Administration said it would not assert Executive Privilege over the documents.
The infamously litigious Trump immediately filed a lawsuit to block the documents from becoming public—a battle he recently lost in federal court, for now.
Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that Trump doesn't have the authority to assert Executive Privilege because he is no longer President.
In one terse takedown, Chutkan wrote in her ruling:
"[Trump's] position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power 'exists in perpetuity.' ... But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President."
Even when Trump was in the White House, he repeatedly attempted to inflate his presidential authority, absurdly claiming that, "I have an Article II, where I have to the right to do whatever I want as president." Trump secured his first impeachment after his efforts to override Congress and unilaterally block military aid promised to Ukraine until its President vowed to investigate Biden.
People found it refreshing to see Trump's authoritarian claims shot down in court.
Some expect to see the line used far more widely than a court document.
Trump immediately appealed the ruling, but barring a court's intervention, the National Archives intends to release the requested documents to the House Committee at the end of the week.