WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Arizona ruled Thursday that the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol can see the phone records of Arizona’s Republican Party chairwoman, Kelli Ward, and her husband.
U.S. District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa dismissed Wards’ arguments in a February lawsuit that the congressional panel should be barred from obtaining the couple’s phone records, who are doctors, because doing so would violate privacy laws. medical confidentiality.
In January, the state GOP chairwoman and her husband, Michael Ward, were among 14 of 84 so-called alternate voters subpoenaed by the committee because they claimed in false documents that the president of the time, Donald Trump, had won the 2020 election in their states.
The judge wrote in her 18-page filing on Thursday that the House committee’s request for information “concerns records of telephone calls from November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021, from an account associated with a Republican candidate. to serve as a voter for former President Trump.”
“This three-month period is clearly relevant to his investigation into the causes of the January 6 attack,” she wrote. “The court therefore has no doubt that the conclusion of these cases can contribute to the valid legislative objective of the select committee.”
Humetewa also rejected Wards’ arguments that the subpoena seeking their phone records violates their rights under the First and 14th Amendments and that releasing the records would risk those the couple had contacted during the period. are “involved in the largest criminal investigation in the history of the United States”. “
The judge also rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that the subpoena would lead to harassment, like the death threats they had previously received, because those “incidents have happened before”.
The Department of Justice, meanwhile, has also been investigating “false voters.” The Jan. 6 panel, which is set to hold what could be its final hearing on Sept. 28, compelled many of them to testify, alleging they were part of the larger plan by Trump and his allies to overturn the results. of the 2020 elections.