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Kagan temporarily pauses subpoena for Arizona GOP seat phone records

Kagan temporarily pauses subpoena for Arizona GOP chairs phone records

Washington Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ordered a temporary hiatus Wednesday night on a subpoena — issued by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol attack — for the phone records of Arizona Republican Party chairman Kelli Ward.

In her injunction, Kagan upheld an October 22 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit allowing the Jan. 6 House Committee to obtain the data, “pending further order from the undersigned or the court.”

Ward’s attorneys and the Jan. 6 commission have the UKTN for filing responses to Kagan’s warrant Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

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In an emergency petition to Kagan, who oversees applications from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Ward argued that the House panel subpoena is a “first-of-its-kind” situation involving a request for phone records from the head of a president of a state party, wanted by a congressional committee composed mostly of members of the rival party.

“If Dr. Ward, congressional investigators will be contacting every person who communicated with her during and immediately after the tumult of the 2020 election. That’s not speculation, that’s a certainty. There is no other reason for the commission to seek this information,” Ward’s attorneys wrote. “There can be no greater chill to public participation in partisan politics than a phone call, visit, or subpoena from federal investigators.”

The commission issued a subpoena in January to Ward’s telephone provider T-Mobile, requesting call details, phone numbers, text messages and IP addresses communicating with Ward’s number after the 2020 election. The Arizona GOP chairman was among a group of people locked into an unsuccessful plan to have some so-called deputy voters cast electoral votes for Trump, who lost the state to President Biden.

But Ward filed a petition in federal court to quash the subpoena, and the commission, in turn, called on the court to dismiss the case several months later. After the court granted House investigators’ request, Ward turned to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. However, the California-based appeals court upheld the lower court’s ruling that allowed the House committee to obtain the documents.

In her Supreme Court filing, Ward said her case has “profound precedential implications for future congressional investigations and political association rights under the First Amendment,” especially given the events that accompany it: the 2020 presidential election and the January 6 attack on the Capitol. .

While the select committee “will not hand out a penalty,” Ward argued, handing over phone records to the panel risks exposing the people she interacted with to congressional or federal investigations, as well as public criticism.

“In a case like this, the penalty is the trial; the damage stems from a fear that your opinion will be revealed, that you could be the next person to expect a knock on your door from government investigators, and that you may face the disastrous personal and financial consequences of hiring a attorney and appear before the commission to account for your political affiliations and opinions,” Ward told the Supreme Court. “This sets a terrible precedent for the future of public participation in American politics.”

Ward is the latest Republican to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in cases arising from investigations into the events surrounding the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

Last year, Trump asked the Supreme Court to prevent the National Archives and Records Administration from turning over its White House records to the House panel, which the judges refused to do, and GOP Sen. South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham asked the court to temporarily suspend him from testifying before a Georgia grand jury.

Judge Clarence Thomas on Monday temporarily suspended the lower court order requiring him to answer questions before the grand jury investigating efforts in Georgia to reverse the results of the 2020 election.

The message that Kagan is temporarily suspending the subpoena for the Arizona GOP chair’s phone records appeared first on UKTN News.