Attorneys for Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward and her husband Michael Ward filed an emergency motion Wednesday at the Supreme Court asking justices to block the Jan. 6, 2021, subpoena of the House Select Committee investigating phone and text records.
The move is the latest case on Jan. 6 before the conservative-leaning judge.
Wards served as a dummy voter in Donald Trump’s Arizona, one of the states the former president lost, but where Republicans rallied to present a list of voters supporting Trump.
According to a committee letter subpoenaing Kelli Ward’s testimony, she also spoke with Trump and his staff about the Arizona election certificate. The committee also sought testimony from Ward. He asserted his Fifth Amendment rights during the deposition.
The Wards have argued that the subpoena was too intrusive and violated their First Amendment rights, potentially revealing political ties.
The House Select Committee’s subpoena directs T-Mobile USA, Inc. to release call records from Kelli Ward’s phone from November 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, seeking only the times and duration of calls when Ward served. As a Trump voter.
Logs do not contain content or location information. A district court judge ruled against Ward and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
“The subpoena is closely related to the government’s important interest in investigating the causes of the January 6 attack and protecting future elections from similar threats,” the Court of Appeal said.
“The investigation, at the end of the day, is not about Warden’s politics; It is about his participation in the events before the January 6 attack, and he wants to find those who communicated in relation to those events. The fact that some of the individuals Ward communicated may be members of a political party does not establish that the subpoena is likely to reveal “sensitive information.” [the party’s] members and supporters'”, added the court.
In an emergency filing with Justice Elena Kagan – who oversees the lower court involved in the case – Ward’s lawyers argue the case is “unprecedented” with “profound implications for future congressional investigations and First Amendment rights to political association.”
If Ward’s phone and text messages are released, they added, “Congressional investigators will contact all individuals who had contact during and immediately after the 2020 election upheaval.”
Kagan can act on the request alone or send it to the full court.
Also, federal investigators, as part of an investigation into efforts to subvert the 2020 election, are looking for information in seven battleground states Trump lost and where his campaign collected fake voters, a person briefed on the matter told CNN. Wards was also subpoenaed as part of that investigation.
The fake certificates were sent to the National Archives in the weeks after the election and had no effect on the election results.
This story has been updated with additional details.