'Doomed to fail': Legal experts slam Trump’s lawsuit against Jan. 6 committee as a pathetic PR stunt
On Monday, October 18, former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select committee on the January 6 insurrection, hoping to block the committee from obtaining White House documents from Trump's final weeks in office. And according to The Independent's Andrew Feinberg, some legal experts believe that the lawsuit is badly flawed and likely to be rejected in the courts.
"Among other things, the suit asks for a court to declare the Presidential Records Act — the post-Watergate law that governs the creation, processing and storage of White House records during and after a president's term ends — unconstitutional," Feinberg explains. "Mr. Trump is being represented by Jesse Binnall, a Virginia-based lawyer who unsuccessfully tried to help him overturn Nevada's 2020 election results."
According to Washington, D.C.-based attorney Bradley Moss, Trump's lawsuit is nothing more than a public relations "stunt."
Moss told The Independent, "I wrote better pleadings in law school…. Much of the commentary in the document is simply unnecessary or irrelevant, and is not how most litigators frame lawsuits. Facts are one thing: endless legal commentary is another, and this lawsuit is overflowing with it."
Norm Eisen, the attorney who represented Democrats in Congress during their first of two impeachments of Trump, slammed Trump's lawsuit as "doomed to fail."
Eisen told The Independent, "It suffers from a central flaw from the first page to the last, which is that it's constant references to 'the president,' it forgets that that individual…. is now named Joe Biden, not Donald Trump."
Trump is claiming that Pelosi's January 6 committee is illegitimate because of "executive privilege" — a claim being echoed by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who has been defying a subpoena to testify before the committee.
Eisen told The Independent, "It is Joe Biden who determines whether executive privilege applies, not Donald Trump — and therefore, the whole premise of the lawsuit that there is an executive privilege to be protected here fails. And the separation of powers arguments that are asserted in the lawsuit apply to Joe Biden, who is the current president to whom this constitutional doctrine is relevant. Period. Donald Trump is an ex-president."
Although Pelosi's January 6 committee includes two right-wing Republicans who have been outspoken Trump critics — Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — most of its participants are Democrats, including Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland. Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, believes that Trump "simply has no argument" in his lawsuit.
Raskin told The Independent, "He's essentially saying: 'I want to try to keep this criminal plot secret, because it was within the realm of presidential secrets.' But in any event, under the Constitution.… the president's role is to take care…. that the laws are faithfully executed. Violent insurrection is the opposite. Trump is essentially asserting that he has the constitutional authority to overthrow the government, and then to keep secret all of his plans to do so when it fails."
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