"Fishing expedition": Judge Chutkan rejects Trump subpoena for "missing" records that aren't missing

Donald Trump Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images
Donald Trump Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images
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The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump's Washington D.C. election subversion case on Tuesday rejected the former president's request to subpoena a number of people for material compiled in the House Select Committee investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that Trump “has not sufficiently justified his requests” for records that his attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro said last month were identified as "missing" from the archived records of the committee, including video recordings of transcribed interviews, HuffPost reports.

The subpoena was intended for seven people, including Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., who chairs an oversight subcommittee and has previously claimed the panel “did not transfer or archive numerous records,” and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the Jan. 6 committee chairman who has dismissed those allegations. Thompson said the committee "did not archive temporary committee records that were not elevated by the Committee’s actions, such as use in hearings or official publications, or those that did not further its investigative actions." Even then, Trump's attorneys argued last month that their request has merit. “Needless to say, there is significant overlap between the Select Committee’s investigation and this case, and there is a strong likelihood that individuals discussed in the Missing Records could be called as trial witnesses,” Blanche and Lauro wrote.

Chutkan, however, dismissed the Trump team's motion, indicating that they have not met the burden of proof because they did not "state with any specificity" the information Trump is seeking in the records. “The broad scope of the records that Defendant seeks, and his vague description of their potential relevance, resemble less ‘a good faith effort to obtain identified evidence’ than they do ‘a general "fishing expedition" that attempts to use the [Rule 17(c) subpoena] as a discovery device,” Chutkan wrote in the court filing. The case is slated to go to trial March 4. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.