Judge orders Ward’s phone recordings to be turned over to January 6 panel without delay

Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX 3 — A federal judge will not delay her order giving the Arizona Republican Party chairman’s phone records to the Jan. 6 committee.

Judge Diane Humetewa said on Friday that Kelli Ward had not shown that there would be “irreparable harm” to the disclosure of information about who was calling and texting her, and who she was calling and texting. And the judge, who last month ordered disclosure, dismissed claims that releasing the information would “chill” party loyalists’ interest in communicating with her.

But Humetwa said there was an even more fundamental reason why she wanted the records handed over – and soon.

The judge pointed out that Ward wanted her to suspend her order while she seeks a review of the decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This court has established a schedule of briefings that extends through January.

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The only thing is that the panel investigating events in and around the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill is only authorized until the end of the current session of Congress. This happens on January 3.

“An injunction would thus make it impossible for the select committee to obtain the subpoenaed records,” Humetewa wrote. And the judge said that tips the legal scales in favor of Congress — and against Ward.

“There is a strong public interest in Congress conducting its lawful investigations,” Humetewa wrote. “The public interest is heightened when, as here, the legislature proceeds with urgency to prevent violent attacks on the federal government and disturbances of the peace.

Attorney Alexander Kolodin, who represents Ward, said he could not comment on what the next legal decision will be. But he said if the issue is timing, he would consider an expedited briefing schedule to ensure the case gets to the appeals judges before the end of the congressional session.

And Kolodin said the fact remains that the new Congress could continue the committee if it wanted to.

The realistic possibility of that happening, however, is slim given the odds of Republicans taking control of the House.

Panel members want T-Mobile to turn over its phone records from November 2020 to January 2021.

This includes the period when Ward prepared a list of voters, including herself, who pledged to vote for Donald Trump even if Joe Biden won the popular vote in Arizona and all 11 electoral votes in the state. Supporting documents were sent to Washington.

Douglas Letter, House counsel, said the committee, which is studying the events leading up to the Jan. 6 riot, needs to know how Ward’s activities played into it all. This would include who she was in contact with at the time.

“Dr. Kelli Ward was involved in several aspects of these attempts to interfere with the January 6 election count,” he told the court. Voting systems.”

Sending all of the unauthorized electoral votes to Congress, Letter said Ward “mislabeled them as representatives of Arizona’s legal votes.”

“As Congress was suspended due to mob violence and the attack on the Capitol, Dr. Ward continued to advocate for the nullification of the election results,” Letter said, quoting a January 6 Twitter post. And even after the riot and Congress certifying Biden’s victory, he said, Ward continued to claim that the fake voters list contained “the legitimate and genuine voters for president for 2020.”

The subpoena only seeks the phone numbers of those who have been in contact with Ward, not the actual content of the texts or conversations. Despite this, Ward argued that simply disclosing her political contacts would “chill” party members’ interest in contacting her.

Humetewa called this not only “speculative” but also “dubious,” especially in light of what Ward had previously made public about his activities.

“Mrs. Ward had written a book about how she was involved in sending an alternative list of voters to Washington,” the judge noted, citing “Justified: The Story of America’s Audit,” not only on the Senate review of 2020 vote in Maricopa County, but also other legal developments.

“You will have the opportunity to view many of Kelli’s internal and external communications,” according to promotional material for the book.

And Humetewa said Ward filmed videos of the activities around this alternative slate and posted them on YouTube.

“These activities belie Ms. Ward’s concern that her communications with her constituents or co-workers may be dampened by T-Mobile’s possible release of a recording showing that Ms. Ward called or received calls from people during this time,” said writes the judge.

A panel attorney revealed in an earlier hearing that Ward invoked her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when questioned by panel staff. The lawyer did not specify when this interview took place.

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