Kelli Ward: Elena Kagan is temporarily standing by the Jan. 6 subpoena of the Arizona GOP Chairman’s Phone Records Committee
Attorneys for Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward and her husband Michael Ward submitted an urgent application with the Supreme Court on Wednesday asking judges to block a House of Representatives subpoena investigating Jan. 6, 2021 over phone and text recordings.
Hours after the filing, Judge Elena Kagan — who oversees the Court of Appeals that ruled the case — issued an injunction blocking the subpoena. The administrative stay was likely imposed to give judges more time to consider the matter and may not reflect the court’s final decision. Kagan also asked for a response from the House Committee by Friday.
The move is the latest Jan. 6 dispute coming before the conservative-leaning court.
Judge Clarence Thomas also temporarily agreed Monday freeze a lower court order He called for Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to testify before a special Atlanta-area grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election.
The Wards served as Donald Trump’s sham voters in Arizona, one of the states the former president lost but where Republicans rallied to field a pro-Trump slate.
According to a letter from the committee requesting Kelli Ward’s testimony, she also spoke to Trump and members of his associates about the Arizona election certificate. The committee also sought Ward’s testimony. She invoked her Fifth Amendment rights during the deposition.
The Wards have argued the subpoena was overly intrusive and violated their First Amendment rights, potentially exposing political ties.
The House Select Committee subpoena directs T-Mobile USA, Inc. to release call recordings from Kelli Ward’s phone for the period November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021 and only request times and durations of calls to which Ward served as a voter for Trump.
The recordings do not contain any content or location information. A district judge decidedly against Ward and the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
“The subpoena essentially relates to the government’s important interest in investigating the causes of the Jan. 6 attack and protecting future elections from similar threats,” the appeals court said.
“After all, the investigation is not about Ward’s politics; It deals with her involvement in the events leading up to the January 6th attack and seeks to uncover those with whom she communicated in connection with those events. That some of those with whom Ward communicated may be members of a political party does not prove the subpoena is likely to disclose “sensitive information.” [the party’s] members and supporters,’” the court added.
In the emergency motion filed with Kagan, Ward’s attorneys argue the case is “unprecedented” with “profound precedent for future congressional investigations and First Amendment political association rights.”
If Ward’s phone and text messages are disclosed, they add, “Congress investigators will contact any person who communicated with her during and immediately after the 2020 election commotion.”
Additionally, as part of an investigation into efforts to undermine the 2020 election, federal investigators have gathered information in seven battleground states that Trump has lost and where his campaign has called up fake voters, said a person who previously briefed on the matter was, told CNN. The Wards were also subpoenaed as part of this inquiry.
The fake certificates were sent to the National Archives in the weeks following the election and had no bearing on the outcome of the election.
This story has been updated with additional details.