A US appeals court has put off allowing congressional investigators access to former president Donald Trump's White House records relating to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
The court has instead scheduled a hearing on the matter for November 30. Trump's lawyers had asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to put Tuesday's lower court ruling to allow access to the papers on hold pending an appeal, which they said could be fast-tracked. The three judges on the appeals panel randomly assigned to the case were all appointed to the judiciary by either President Joe Biden or former president Barack Obama, both Democrats.
The National Archives, a federal agency that holds Trump's White House records, had been scheduled to give Congress hundreds of pages of documents on Friday. District Judge Tanya Chutkan's decision on Tuesday allowed the House of Representatives committee investigating the attack to access telephone records, visitor logs and other White House documents that Trump wants blocked. The committee has said it needs the requested materials to understand the role Trump may have played in fomenting the riot in which his supporters aimed to block the certification of Biden's November election win. The Republican former president had argued the materials requested by the committee were covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege that protects the confidentiality of some White House communications. But Chutkan rejected that argument in a clear win for congressional oversight powers.
Four people died on January 6, one shot dead by police and the other three of natural causes, and more than 100 police officers were injured in the attack. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the next day, and four other police officers who defended the Capitol later died by suicide.
Jan Wolfe AAP with The Project