Donald Trump is counting on the Supreme Court—including three justices he appointed—to get him out of hot water with the House Select Committee. Just like his fake election fraud filings, he has thus far been denied by two courts, and the Supreme Court is his last hope. While we all hope SCOTUS follows legal precedence resulting from the Nixon era, they may well side with Trump, law be damned. According to the Hill, a “group of legal heavyweights” is not idly sitting by waiting for that to happen, and they have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief to that effect.
The 26-page brief implores SCOTUS to follow the law and allow Congress to perform its duties. The filers of this brief are not just some fly-by-night people. They are former DOJ and White House lawyers (under Republican presidents) who understand privilege but state that they “understand that in some cases those interests are outweighed by Congress’s need for information.” That could be no truer than in this case. It is imperative that the committee get to the bottom of the causes of the January 6 insurrection so that something like this never happens again. As the amici (the filers) outlined, they possess intimate knowledge of how these things work, unlike Trump, who understands nothing outside of what he wants.
The crux of this filing seeks to protect our democracy, and they cite the fact that President Joe Biden declined to invoke privilege on Trump’s behalf. That refusal speaks volumes, and it should be respected. Trump and his allies were directly involved in what happened that day, using their lies to rile those people up—and they were successful. In fact, it was reported that Trump enjoyed the spectacle, and it took several tries to get him to speak up and call those thugs off. This was one of the most shameful events in American history, and Congress and the American people have the right to know exactly what happened that day. Look, if there was nothing to hide in Trump’s records, he would not be fighting so hard to keep them secret. He already knows his guilt; let the rest of us know as well. Perhaps it might stop the lie about the 2020 election being stolen. Obviously, there are some people who will not believe it if you hit them over the head with it, but many have changed their minds and others will follow once the truth is out.
As the amici point out, Trump’s claims of lack of legitimate legislative purpose are false. He knows it, and we know it as well. Something in those records will lead Congress down the right path, and if it ends up revealing Trump’s criminal culpability, then so be it. Prosecuting Trump is not the main goal; protecting our democracy is. If Trump ends up as collateral damage, he deserves it. As “president,” his job was to protect and defend our country at all costs. He did the exact opposite. If he broke the law, he needs to pay.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years