This afternoon the DC Circuit Court temporarily blocked the release of documents sought by the House special committee investigating the January 6th insurrection. This comes after U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ruled against former President Trump’s claims of executive privilege and denied his request to stay the ruling subject to appeal. The stay stops the release, which was supposed to have begun tomorrow, until the circuit court can rule on the appeal.
This isn’t unexpected or necessarily a problem for the committee’s pursuit of these documents. One annoying fact is that the court scheduled oral arguments in the appeal for November 30th, almost three weeks from today. This was allegedly fast-tracking the hearing. This is despite the fact that if I’m understanding the appeal even President Trump’s lawyers had asked for a hearing to be held next week. Relative to the standard calendar for the federal appellate process that is fast. But let’s be honest. This case is sui generis and of unique gravity and consequence. They could have done it next week. I will chalk this up to the fact that the federal appellate judiciary operates in a rarefied world far above the concerns of mere mortals like you and me.
That said, Trump got unlucky on another, likely more important front. The former President had stocked the DC Circuit with a number of diehard Trump toadies. But the panel selected has two Obama appointees and one Biden appointee. So that’s vastly preferable than several alternatives.