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DC Court of Appeals sends Trump an ominous sign in Executive Privilege claim

Donald Trump’s need for secrecy, his reliance on a comprehensive claim of executive privilege (extending beyond his own term), all to withhold documents from the House Select Committee, was met yesterday when the Court of Appeal issued an ominous signaled to “Camp Trump.”

The DC Court of Appeal has informed the parties that it wants the parties’ instructions to include a section on whether the court even has jurisdiction to hear the case. According to Williams, the fact that the court raised the issue itself is important, “[C]Ourts are typically protective of their jurisdictions and the fact that [the DC Court of Appeals] raised this question on its own, which means that it was not proposed by the lawyers in the case ”is important, as it shows that they have concerns that go even further than those raised by the committee’s lawyers.

Williams is certainly right as a general matter, but it should also be noted that federal courts have an aversion to hearing almost any case involving privileges between Congress and the executive branch. Obviously, the fact that the court raised the issue itself means that the judges can believe that they do not even have the power to grant the order that Trump is asking for.

Of course, Trump will appeal any verdict against him at the SCOTUS. But if he was easily defeated at the district court and (possibly) at the appellate court level, it is possible that the SCOTUS will refuse to even hear Trump’s case. Although the SCOTUS has three “MAGA” judges, they also probably do not want to settle fights over executive privilege.

Regardless, without a doubt, the DC Court of Appeal’s concerns should concern Trump and can ensure that the committee has access to the documents he seeks so much sooner.

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