Federal Judge Poised To Dismiss GOP Claims Against Jan. 6 Panel

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A federal judge appears set to dismiss GOP court claims against the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, according to a recap of recent court proceedings from journalist Kyle Cheney. As previously reported here, the riot panel subpoenaed records from Salesforce, which provided some of the tech capacity for Trump’s camp to send out numerous fundraising emails in the lead-up to the attack on the Capitol — in those emails, false claims about the integrity of the last presidential election were repeatedly touted, making information about the emails’ preparation particularly relevant. The Republican National Committee (RNC) brought their court challenge targeting the committee after that subpoena, arguing that the push for information threatened free speech rights of Republicans. The riot committee’s investigation is expansive, including — besides the violence — the lead-up to what unfolded, including distributions of election lies.

A committee statement said the subpoena “has absolutely nothing to do with getting the private information of voters or donors,” although 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.” Cheney said Monday that federal Judge Timothy Kelly “seems highly likely to dismiss the RNC’s suit against the Jan. 6 select committee but must make [a] complicated decision about whether to leave the suit intact against the remaining defendant — Salesforce.” For Kelly to rule in the committee’s favor would provide yet another win for investigators, who’ve been pretty successful in their efforts. Riot panel members, for instance, received critical records from the Trump administration after the ex-president himself failed in his court efforts to block their release.

In related news, federal Judge Amy Totenberg ruled this week that a challenge to the eligibility for re-election of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) could proceed. Interests including a group called Free Speech for People brought the challenge based on provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that restrict those who engaged in insurrection from running for office. A federal judge dealing with a challenge on similar grounds to the eligibility for office of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) concluded that a 19th Century law removing certain political restrictions from people tied to the Confederacy also covered future insurrectionists, making Cawthorn safe from challenges tied to his connections to the January 6 attack on the Capitol (a decision that’s being appealed), but Totenberg wasn’t certain of that interpretation of the centuries-old law. (It’s January 6 that also inspired the Greene challenge.) The next step for the challenge to Greene’s re-election eligibility is a hearing this week before an administrative judge in Georgia, where authorities didn’t appear to support any particular outcome to the challenge but did back moving forward with the challenge process.