Washington – The Supreme Court on Monday refused a request from Kelly Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, to block a subpoena from the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol for her phone records.

The refusal Ward’s emergency Supreme Court request for his intervention clears the way for her phone provider, T-Mobile, to comply with the subpoena and turn over the conversation records sought by House investigators. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said they would grant Ward’s request to block the special committee’s subpoena.

Ward went to the Supreme Court after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to block a subpoena that sought phone metadata, such as phone numbers, text messages and call duration, from November 2020 to January 2021 .

In it submission in court last month, Ward’s lawyers called the group’s claim a “first-of-its-kind situation” involving the state party chairman’s records released by a congressional committee made up mostly of members of the opposing party. They argued that the lawsuit violated her First Amendment rights of association.

“If Dr. Ward’s phone and text records are released, congressional investigators will contact every person who communicated with her during and immediately after the 2020 election uproar. This is not speculation, this is certainty. There is no other. reason for the committee to request that information,” Ward’s lawyers argued. “There can be no greater chilling effect on public participation in partisan politics than a call, visit or subpoena from federal investigators.”

But the lawyers of the House urged The Supreme Court has cleared the way for investigators to obtain records of Ward’s conversations, which they say will help further their investigation of the events leading up to and on January 6.

“The false narrative of a stolen election motivated the violence on January 6, and public evidence shows that Dr. Ward played a major role in many of these actions,” they said, citing her spread of false claims about the integrity of the 2020 election. and participating in a scheme to send to Congress a list of “alternative” voters casting their ballots for Trump.

President Biden defeated Mr. Trump in Arizona, and the results were approved by the governor and confirmed by recounts and audits.

Ward appeared before a House panel in mid-March, but invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“These records will shed light on how Dr. Ward contributed to the multi-pronged attempt to interfere with the peaceful transition of power and the attack on the U.S. Capitol,” said lawyers for the special committee at the Supreme Court.

Ward, they continued, “aided the coup attempt” with her efforts in the days and weeks after the 2020 election, culminating in her involvement in a fraudulent voter scheme.

Calling the chairman of the Republican Party of Arizona
Kelly Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, holds a press conference on Nov. 18, 2020, in Phoenix.

Ross D. Franklin / AP

The special committee, which includes two Republicans among its nine members, has conducted more than 1,000 interviews in its investigation of the events surrounding Jan. 6 and held nine public hearings this year.

During the investigation, House investigators issued subpoenas to Trump’s top White House aides, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, campaign officials and Trump himself.

In January, the committee subpoenaed T-Mobile for records related to Ward’s phone number, but she asked a federal court to overturn the request. However, the U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit said the House panel could obtain the records.

After Ward asked the Supreme Court to intervene, Justice Elena Kagan temporarily stopped T-Mobile from turning over the phone records, maintaining the status quo while the Supreme Court considered her request. A new Supreme Court order lifts the temporary stay.

The House committee’s investigation is one of several examining Trump’s efforts to stop the transfer of power and a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol that has sparked lawsuits from the former president’s allies when investigators have sought their testimony or records.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, asked the Supreme Court to bar him from answering questions from a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, even though the court rejected his request.

Last year, Trump asked the Supreme Court to bar the National Archives and Records Administration from turning over his White House documents to a House panel that judges refused to do.


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