The conservative group America First Legal (AFL) submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in support of former President Donald Trump’s case against the January 6 select committee.
AFL, founded by former Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, is asking the High Court to “rein in” the committee and “protect the separation of powers and the rule of law,” according to a press release from the group.
Trump filed a petition with the Supreme Court at the end of December after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the January 6 committee, which had sought hundreds of pages of Trump’s communications and other documents the committee claimed were relevant to last year’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The former president is seeking to block the January 6 committee’s expansive demand, while also asking the Supreme Court to consider the arguments that his communications are protected by executive privilege and that the committee’s demand serves no “valid legislative purpose.”
Prior to the federal court ruling, President Joe Biden in October twice refused to honor Trump’s claim of executive privilege.
Gene Hamilton, AFL vice president and general counsel, said in a statement about his group’s amicus brief that the Biden administration and congressional Democrats “are charting a path that ends in the destruction of executive privilege.”
NEW → We filed a brief at the Supreme Court of the United States in support of former President Donald J. Trump. Our brief asks the Court to reign in the January 6th Committee, and to protect the separation of powers and the rule of law. https://t.co/PoHLCF23Tl
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) January 12, 2022
Hamilton stated, “The Biden Administration and its allies in Congress, who apparently have no appreciation for the past and no anticipation of the future, are charting a path that ends in the destruction of executive privilege. Their haste will surely erode the effect of those checks and balances to the detriment of Americans everywhere.”
Among its several points in the brief, AFL charged that Biden and his “allies in Congress” “pounced on ‘interbranch accommodation’ to circumvent constitutional limits, and to disclose former President Trump’s records.”
It also contended that the committee does not have the authority to solicit presidential records and that it was neither established nor is operating in line with House rules.
The committee, created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and comprising nine of her handpicked colleagues, has targeted dozens of Trump’s allies with subpoenas and other demands for records as it investigates the “facts, circumstances, and causes” of the January 6 breach.
The committee members have been openly vocal about their disapproval of Trump, and all of them voted in favor of impeaching the former president last January for “inciting an insurrection.” The members have, however, stopped short of deeming Trump guilty of a crime.
One member, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), was asked in December by CNN if he thought Trump should be convicted of criminal charges. Kinzinger declined to answer the question directly but said, “Nobody is above the law. And if the president knowingly allowed what happened on January 6 to happen and in fact was giddy about it and that violates a criminal statute, he needs to be held accountable for that.”