WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Arizona ruled Thursday that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill can see the phone records of Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward and her husband.
U.S. District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa rejected the Wards’ arguments in a February lawsuit that the congressional panel should be prevented from obtaining the phone records of the couple, who are doctors, because it would violate medical privacy laws.
In January, the chair of the state Republican Party and her husband, Michael Ward, were among 14 of 84 alleged surrogate electors subpoenaed by the committee because they had claimed in forged documents that then-President Donald Trump had won the 2020 election in their states.
The judge wrote in her 18-page filing Thursday that the House committee’s request for information “relates to phone call records from November 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, from an account associated with a candidate Republican to serve as former President Trump’s elector. .”
“That three-month period is clearly relevant to his investigation into the causes of the January 6 attack,” he wrote. “Therefore, the court has little doubt that these records may assist the select committee’s valid legislative purpose.”
Humetewa also dismissed the Wards’ arguments that the subpoena for their phone records violated their First and 14th Amendment rights and that releasing the records would risk that people the couple communicated with during the period could be “involved in the largest criminal investigation in the history of the United States”. “
The judge also rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that the subpoena would result in harassment, like the death threats they had previously received, because those “incidents have already occurred.”
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has also been investigating “false voters.” The January 6 committee, which is expected to hold what it can at its final hearing on September 28, forced many of them to testify, claiming they were part of the larger plan by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 elections.