US court rejects Trump's bid to conceal records from congressional investigators probing Jan. 6 Capitol riot

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. federal appeals court ruled Thursday to reject former President Donald Trump's bid to block the National Archives from turning over his administration's records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

On Jan. 6, then-President Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Washington, after which his supporters marched to and breached the Capitol. (Photo: AP)

The three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the arguments by the former president's lawyers that their client could assert executive privilege to prevent the current administration from sharing the Trump White House's documents with the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

"The central question in this case is whether, despite the exceptional and imperative circumstances underlying the Committee's request and President (Joe) Biden's decision, a federal court can, at the former President's behest, override President Biden's decision not to invoke privilege and prevent his release to Congress of documents in his possession that he deems to be needed for a critical legislative inquiry," Judge Patricia Millett wrote in a 68-page opinion for the panel.

"On the record before us, former President Trump has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden's judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents," read the opinion.

"Both Branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee's inquiry into an attack on the Legislative Branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power," the opinion said.

The court said the transfer of the records could begin in 14 days, before which Trump is allowed to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the case.