Supreme Court allows January 6 committee to subpoena Kelli Ward phone records

Supreme Court allows January 6 committee to subpoena Kelli Ward phone records

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to block the release of Arizona Republican Party Chairman Kelli Ward’s phone records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

Judges denied an emergency request filed by Ward, which means that phone records associated with his T-Mobile cell phone will be released to the House committee. Two conservative judges, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, noted in the brief order that they would have granted the request.

Last month, liberal Judge Elena Kagan temporarily blocked the execution of the subpoena while judges weighed what action to take.

Ward and her husband, Michael Ward, were among 14 of 84 so-called alternate voters subpoenaed to appear this year by the Jan. 6 committee, which cited their association with false documents claiming then-President Donald Trump, had won the 2020 election in their states.

Lower courts, including the San Francisco-based 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals, rejected Ward’s arguments to block the subpoena.

The couple, who are both doctors, argued, among other things, that releasing their records would violate medical confidentiality laws. The committee is only pursuing Kelli Ward’s cases. In the Supreme Court, Ward argued that the subpoena violated his right to freedom of association under the Constitution’s First Amendment.

“If Dr. Ward’s phone and text records are released, congressional investigators will contact everyone who contacted her during and immediately after the turmoil of the 2020 election. This is not speculation, this is a certainty,” the couple’s lawyers wrote in court documents.

The subpoena relates to a T-Mobile cell phone account linked to Ward. Among the information sought is any phone numbers, IP addresses or devices that communicated with the phone in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

Ward and his fellow Republicans had created a list of competing voters for Arizona declaring Trump won, despite election results showing Joe Biden getting more votes in the state. These actions have come under scrutiny by the Department of Justice as well as the January 6 committee.

As part of the normal process, followed by Arizona government officials, certification of the state’s vote by a group of named voters is a formality after a winner has been determined by popular vote. Trump and his allies in 2020 pursued a far-fetched theory that if states had submitted competing election results to Congress, lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill to certify the results on January 6, 2021 could have prevented Biden from becoming president.

Along with other flaws in the plan, Vice President Mike Pence, who had a ceremonial role in the certification process, refused to accept it. The attack on Capitol Hill by a pro-Trump mob was intrinsically linked to efforts to overturn Biden’s victory.

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