Time is of the essence in the House Select Committee’s investigation of the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. Former President Donald Trump is seeking to keep from the committee his White House documents relating to Jan. 6. Expeditious court rulings on his legal claims will help the committee do its work and get the country the answers it needs. Trump’s primary goal is to delay the committee and run out the clock on this session of Congress.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard arguments from the parties Tuesday in Trump v. Thompson. There’s a pitfall ahead if the court bases its ruling on threshold issues, such as subject matter jurisdiction, and finds it unnecessary to reach the substantive issues in the case.