Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Private Records Seeking Potential Trump Fraud


The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has subpoenaed records from Salesforce, which provided some of the tech capacity for Donald Trump’s team to send out numerous fundraising emails in the lead-up to the attack on the Capitol — and in those emails, false claims about the integrity of the last presidential election were repeatedly touted. As a statement that’s apparently attributable to panel spokesperson Tim Mulvey explained things:

‘Between Election Day 2020 and January 6th, the RNC and the Trump campaign solicited donations by pushing false claims that the election was tainted by widespread fraud. These emails encouraged supporters to put pressure on Congress to keep President Trump in power. The Select Committee issued a subpoena to an email fundraising vendor in order to help investigators understand the impact of false, inflammatory messages in the weeks before January 6th, the flow of funds, & whether contributions were actually directed to the purpose indicated.’

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The statement added that the subpoena “has absolutely nothing to do with getting the private information of voters or donors,” although the Republican National Committee (RNC) has brought a court challenge which raises the opposite argument in an attempt to block the subpoena. The RNC claimed that the allegedly unconstitutional subpoena “would only serve to chill the RNC’s and its supporters’ First Amendment rights, while providing their political opponents with an all-access pass to confidential RNC political strategies and the personal information of millions of its supporters.” Separately, it’s been reported that the riot investigation panel has been examining whether those involved in pro-Trump fundraising efforts perpetrated wire fraud due to bringing in donor money under knowingly false pretenses. As The Washington Post explained it, the riot committee has been examining “whether the Trump campaign, its affiliated super PACs, the Republican National Committee and protest organizers knowingly used false claims that the election was stolen to dupe donors and raise large sums of cash.”

The panel recently outlined in a court filing that it believes that Trump may be guilty of criminal offenses including obstruction of an official proceeding. (The official proceeding in question was the joint Congressional session to certify the presidential election outcome.) The committee made this argument in pushing for certain records that pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman had to be considered outside the ordinary bounds of attorney-client privilege because of the appearance of potential criminal activity. Federal Judge David Carter has rejected an attempt by Eastman to stall the panel’s effort to obtain his records, concluding that his insistence on receiving exculpatory evidence from investigators — a sort of procedure normally reserved for criminal proceedings — was out-of-place. As Carter put it, “Dr. Eastman’s liberty is not at issue—only his emails… For Dr. Eastman to risk incarceration, there would have to be entirely separate criminal proceedings, where the Government would face a substantially higher burden of proof and Dr. Eastman would receive the full protections of criminal law.”