June 15, 2024 12:29 am

Judge denies Trump’s Jan 6 committee request in election fraud case

A judge has blocked former President Donald Trump’s attempt to obtain records related to the congressional investigation into 6 January.

Judge Tanya Chutkan denied a motion from his team to issue subpoenas to members of the committee that looked into the Capitol attack in 2021.

In an opinion filed on Monday, she cast the motion as a “fishing expedition”.

This is the latest courtroom defeat for Mr Trump in the case alleging he plotted to overturn the 2020 election.

Judge Chutkan has already issued a gag order and denied Mr Trump’s request to remove language from the indictment that he said could prejudice a jury against him.

In the motion, filed in October, Mr Trump had sought to issue subpoenas to Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the 6 January committee, White House Counsel Richard Sauber, the Department of Homeland Security’s general counsel, the national archivist, the House clerk, the committee on House administration, and Representative Barry Loudermilk.

The subpoenas were for what Mr Trump called “missing materials” and communications about how those materials were handled.

Judge Chutkan said that Mr Trump had not specified what information he was seeking in the materials and only gave a “vague description of their potential relevance”.

She focused on his requests for the committee’s video recordings and transcripts of witness interviews.

Noting that the transcripts had already been provided to Mr Trump, she said he had not articulated how the videos could help his case.

Altogether, he had not “sufficiently justified” his request, she wrote.

In a series of primetime televised hearings last year, the bipartisan committee presented its own case.

Smoke, light and fire in front of US Capitol at dusk
Image caption,

Supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol on 6 January 2021

The bipartisan committee argued that Mr Trump sought to stay in the White House by contesting the results of the 2020 election and that he rallied supporters to try to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden as the rightful winner.

It often showed videos of depositions from Mr Trump’s closest aides and confidants, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and former Attorney General Bill Barr.

Mr Trump is the current front-runner for the Republican nomination in next year’s election, and juggling four criminal court cases with his busy campaign schedule.

The former president, though, is not slowing down on either side.

On the same day that Judge Chutkan denied his subpoena request, Mr Trump filed a new, 34-page motion to compel the prosecution to give him information from the Justice Department and Homeland Security, mostly on supposed threats to the integrity of the 2020 election.

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