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Trump Capitol riot probe

U.S. judge denies Trump bid to block congressional probe into Capitol attack

Supporters of former president Donald Trump and his baseless claims of voter fraud breach stand outside the Senate chamber during their protest against Congress certifying Joe Biden as the next president in Washington, DC, on 6 January 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO)

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol can access former President Donald Trump's White House records, in a win for congressional investigators.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in the District of Columbia rejected an argument by Trump’s lawyers that telephone records, visitor logs and other White House documents should be hidden from the committee.

Trump had argued that the materials requested by the House committee were covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege that protects the confidentiality of some White House communications.

He requested an injunction blocking the National Archives, a federal agency that holds his White House records, from complying with the committee’s document requests.

The committee has said it needs the requested materials to understand the role Trump may have played in fomenting the riot.

Trump gave an incendiary speech before the assault on the Capitol, repeating his false claims that the November 2020 election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud and urging his supporters to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to “stop the steal.”

His supporters stormed the Capitol in a failed bid to prevent Congress from formally certifying now-President Joe Biden’s election victory. Biden, a Democrat, took office on Jan. 20.

About 700 people face criminal charges stemming from the riot.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Kanishka Singh; Editing by Andy Sullivan and Peter Cooney)

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