Trump’s January 6 papers are in the House. When can we see them and what’s next?

The defeat of Trump’s legal challenge was a resounding one, though the Supreme Court left the door open for other efforts to challenge some committee investigative efforts on the basis of executive privilege. But his dismissal of Trump’s arguments is sure to spill over into the considerations of other witnesses about whether to cooperate with the investigation and whether their potential legal challenges will succeed.

And by already talking to more than 400 witnesses and now obtaining the hundreds of pages of records from senior White House officials who were at the heart of the Supreme Court case, the committee is likely to be able to provide key details on what’s happening around Trump leading up to and during the attack on the Congressional election certification vote.

The documents in question were held by the National Archives, which inherited them when Trump left office. The Archives processed records requested by the House on an ongoing basis and consulted with both President Joe Biden and Trump on potential assertions of executive privilege.

Trump initially sued to stop the release of three installments where Biden refused to assert privilege after Trump said they should be kept secret. These documents amounted to more than 700 pages of documents detailing events at the White House during the period the House is investigating. The files include activity logs, schedules, speaking notes and three pages of handwritten notes from White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Files of other senior officials in the batches come from then-press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, assistant White House counsel Patrick Philbin, and even lists showing calls to the president and vice president. -President.

When can the public see them?

For now, the documents will be out of public view and in the hands of investigators.

However, House Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said Thursday that at some point the committee would release the documents publicly, but declined to specify a timeline for doing so.

The committee had already announced its intention to release an interim report with its initial findings by the summer, and a final report is expected to be released this fall. Public hearings, which could potentially include testimony from key witnesses, could also be underway.

Lawmakers are urged to keep the contents of what they already have secret for now, so that witnesses cannot supplement their testimony based on what the Chamber already knows.

Why was the committee looking for the documents?

House lawmakers said they were particularly interested in what was happening in the White House as the Capitol attack unfolded and what Trump knew about the potential for violence.

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Committee leaders said they were probing Trump’s delay in calling the rioters and whether it amounted to a dereliction of duty. Moreover, lawmakers framed the attack as the culmination of a months-long effort to overturn the election results — not just a riot that was born out of thin air.

Trump’s White House documents could shed light on other efforts by the former president and his allies to disrupt Biden’s victory even before his supporters sought to block congressional certification of the results.

What does this mean for other people who sue the committee or who don’t cooperate?

Wednesday’s Supreme Court order showed that justices were not going to be willing to rubber-stamp any legal challenges to the committee’s work. In addition, the Supreme Court endorsed a key finding of the lower courts, which is now a law witnesses cannot challenge in DC: that the House committee “clearly” has reason to request documents related to Jan. 6. at the Trump White House, and that Trump’s reasons are not enough to block their demands.

On Thursday, DC District Court Judge James Boasberg conceded in a legal challenge by a Trump spokesperson against the House committee that it is established law that the Jan. 6 panel has a “purpose legislative” legitimate.

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“How could I decide differently from what the DC circuit decided there?” Boasberg said in a hearing Thursday, noting that the Supreme Court “certainly did not overturn” the finding that the House committee has a legislative purpose.

Yet more than a dozen witnesses whose records or testimony have been subpoenaed by the House continue to challenge the committee’s authority in court. Several of the cases point to the composition of the committee — and its lack of members selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — which some Trump world lawyers see as their best asset to obstruct the work of the committee.

Notably, the Supreme Court explicitly left open a question presented in Trump’s case about a former president’s power to keep some of his presidential records secret even when the current president sided with transparency, making it even more possible more legal fights against recalcitrant witnesses or Trump himself. .

But the Supreme Court siding so firmly against Trump on the records of his top White House officials could tip the dam toward greater cooperation with the committee.

What are Trump’s other options for hampering the committee’s work?

The Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday hinged on the DC Circuit’s finding that Trump would have lost the case even if he were the sitting president.

“According to one of the tests advocated by former President Trump, the deep interests of disclosure advanced by President Biden and the January 6 Committee far outweigh his widespread concerns for executive branch confidentiality,” the official said. DC Circuit, in part of his opinion. Court pointed to documents in support of the release.

The DC Circuit hit out at Trump for not making content-specific arguments about why the documents should not be released. So, in theory, Trump could try his luck again for future installments where he could explain why individual documents should fall under executive privilege that trumps the needs of the committee. Questions of whether Trump advisers could be compelled to testify about their communications with Trump could also be explored further in court.

Still, the key to Trump’s strategy was to delay and run until Republicans took over the House midterm, as planned, and ended the committee’s investigation. But the courts dismissed Trump’s request with remarkable speed – the Supreme Court’s order issued on Wednesday just three months after he filed the case.

This story was updated on Friday with details on the number of documents transferred.

CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.

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