Trump is appealing a lower court decision to hand over his records to the committee. The Biden administration and the US House are united 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 appellate court will hear oral arguments on November 30 in the historic case.
“The appellants’ clear contempt for President Trump is leading them to take action that will result in permanent damage to the presidency’s institution,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in their response letter to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday.
“A current president cannot destroy the confidentiality of the executive branch’s communications and the important trust interests associated with that secrecy of his own political advantage to the detriment of his predecessors and successors,” they continued.
Trump, who is now arguing in the appellate court above her, says he should win the case and block the House committee as a “constitutional protection” and as a way to protect the president’s executive privilege. He also again asks the court to look at the documents from his presidency side by side to decide what should remain protected – an approach that would almost certainly delay document production over several months or even years.
“The specific analysis of whether each item is properly presentable must be filled in document by document, and not by the scattergun strategy advocated by the Appellees and the district court,” Trump’s lawyers wrote on Wednesday.
The appeal panel with three judges who will try the case is already questioning that approach. After receiving the first round of written legal submissions in the case, they asked on Tuesday whether the lawyers involved in their oral arguments could raise the question of whether the court has the opportunity to enter into the dispute.