A federal judge in Arizona has ruled that the court cannot block a Jan. 6 House Committee subpoena for GOP state chairman Kelli Ward and her husband Michael’s cell phone records, a ruling that could provide more information in the investigation. on state-level support for Donald Trump after his loss in 2020.
Judge Diane Humetewa found that the court did not have the authority to curtail the House’s investigative steps in response to the commission’s indictment of the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.
The Wards division phone company received a subpoena in January requesting certain phone records from November 2020 through January 2021.
The Wards’ lawsuit was one of many brought by people whose phone records were subpoenaed in the House investigation, but it’s one of the first among them to deliver such a compelling ruling. The phone companies have largely allowed their customers whose data was subpoenaed to block access to the House simply by filing a lawsuit, which many of Trump’s allies have done.Read:Amy Cooper, “Central Park Karen,” loses lawsuit claiming she was unfairly fired
The Wards argued in their lawsuit against the House Committee that the demand for the phone records violated their constitutional rights when they asked a federal court in Arizona to quash the subpoena.
In a ruling Thursday, Humetewa said a legal concept known as sovereign immunity would prevent her from taking legal action against House lawmakers because she found they were acting in their official government capacity to demand the information. She also dismissed claims the Wards made against their telephone company to prevent production of the records.
The Arizona court cited the decision of the DC federal appeals court that found the Jan. 6 commission’s investigation legitimate when the appeals court rejected a Trump offer to block the release of his White House data to congressional investigators . Humetewa was also not convinced that the subpoena for the phone records was too broad.
“The Select Committee’s request for information pertains to phone calls from November 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, from an account associated with a Republican candidate to serve as a voter for former President Trump,” she wrote. “That three-month period is clearly relevant to the investigation into the causes of the January 6 attack.”Read:House Jan. 6 panel postpones hearing due to Hurricane Ian