PHOENIX — State GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward has no legal right to prevent a U.S. House committee from obtaining her phone records of her activities leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection, a government attorney told a federal judge.
Douglas Letter said Ward “participated in several aspects” to interfere with the electoral count that was taking place.
“She told Maricopa County to stop counting ballots and promoted inaccurate claims of election interference by Dominion Voting Systems,” wrote Letter, who serves as the United States’ general counsel. Accommodation. And then there’s the fact that even after state election results were certified showing Joe Biden winning Arizona, she and others came together as voters for Donald Trump” and sent a set of unauthorized votes from the Electoral College to Congress that she incorrectly described as ‘representing Arizona’s legal votes.’ ”
In filing a lawsuit earlier this year, Ward argued that providing her phone records would violate her rights and those of her husband, Michael, who, like her, is a doctor. She also said it would expose her patients who come to her for weight loss.
Ward also argued that the select committee was operating illegally. Indeed, only nine members were named to what was supposed to be a panel of 13 after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to accept some suggestions from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
But Letter told U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa that everything the committee did, including issuing the subpoena, was in accordance with congressional rules.
He also urged the judge to reject Ward’s claim that attacking his phone records violates his First Amendment rights, including the right of “political association.”
“The subpoena does not seek the content of any communication,” Letter said. Instead, he said, he only seeks information about who Ward communicated with, when, and for how long.
“None of the data reveals First Amendment rights of expression or association,” Letter told Humetewa.
And even if they did — a point he doesn’t concede — it would be “outweighed” by overwhelming congressional interests.
“The Subpoena Select Committee is seeking relevant documents to determine the root causes of the Jan. 6 Congressional Uprising, a violent attack on our nation’s seat of government that resulted in the deaths of multiple law enforcement officers. order and deepened public distrust of our political processes,’ the letter said.
And there is something else. The letter says Ward has no legal standing to challenge the subpoena.
“The select committee is not criminally investigating neighborhoods or anyone else,” he wrote. “Nor is the select committee trying, in investigating the January 6 attack, to expose information for the sake of exposing it.”
But Letter told Humetewa that the mere prospect that misconduct might come to light does not make the subpoena inappropriate.
“And Dr. Kelli Ward’s extensive efforts to nullify the presidential election…provide sufficient basis to issue the subpoena,” he said.
T-Mobile, the company that supplies Ward’s phone, submitted its own request to dismiss the subpoena.
Humetewa has not set a date for a decision.
Ward and others received a separate Justice Department subpoena regarding their role in submitting the fake voter list to Congress.