Trump-Appointed Judge Upholds Select Committee On RNC Subpoena
A Trump-appointed federal judge has stymied an attempt by the Republican National Committee to block the House Select Committee from obtaining email and fundraising data crucial to its investigation into the January 6 insurrection from Salesforce, a software company the RNC hired in the last election cycle.
The decision, which came Sunday night in a 53-page opinion, is a landmark win for the select committee, which U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly said has demonstrated its need for the RNC’s fundraising email data between November 3, 2020, to January 6, 2021 — a period during which the Trump campaign and the RNC emailed supporters false claims of election fraud.
"The RNC argues that the Select Committee lacks the proper authorization to wield investigative power on behalf of the House ... But for a few reasons, especially given the House's own reading of the authorizing resolution, the Court cannot agree," Judge Kelly wrote.
"House Defendants are not seeking, and Salesforce is not producing, any disaggregated information about any of the RNC’s donors, volunteers, or email recipients, including any person’s personally identifiable information," the judge included in his opinion.
Judge Kelly called the case an “exceedingly rare spectacle of a congressional committee subpoenaing the records of one of our country's two major political parties."
However, the select committee won’t get the GOP data immediately because the judge issued an injunction that allows the RNC until May 5 to appeal the decision.
On Monday, the RNC — in a statement from Matt Rayner, its chief counsel — said it will appeal the decision and claimed victory for making the select committee narrow the scope of its subpoena.
"While the RNC strongly disagrees with this ruling, our lawsuit compelled Nancy Pelosi's January 6th Committee to dramatically narrow the subpoena's scope," Raymer said. "Nancy Pelosi's attempted seizure of her political opponents' campaign strategy cannot be allowed to stand, and we appreciate Judge Kelly continuing to temporarily block the subpoena. The RNC will continue to fight for the Constitutional rights of Republicans across the country and will appeal this decision."
Rayner had repeatedly cited the RNC’s concerns about the scope of the select committee’s Salesforce subpoena.
"The select committee’s demand is narrowly tailored to its interest. As the court has already explained, the select committee seeks reasonably relevant information from a narrow window during which the RNC sent emails promoting claims that the presidential election was fraudulent or stolen," Judge Kelly opined in his ruling.
This decision could allow the select committee access to reams of internal RNC data in Salesforce's possession. The select committee first demanded this data in February, but the RNC in March sued to stop Salesforce from handing over the data.
In a letter accompanying the subpoena, the select committee said Salesforce had raised alarm days after the January 6 insurrection that some email campaigns the GOP ran through its systems may have contributed to the unrest that incited a mob of Trump supporters to storm the Capitol.
Thus, the select committee is to unravel, among other things, the identities of the people behind the email campaign, how successful they were, and how Salesforce analyzed the pro-Trump rallies that preceded the now-infamous attack on the Capitol, according to court filings, per CNN.