A federal judge in Phoenix has opened the door for the select committee on Jan. 6 to receive phone records from Arizona Republican Party leader Kelli Ward.
Why it’s important: The judge rejected Ward’s claims that her First Amendment rights would be challenged if investigators revealed who she spoke to when she tried to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Details: U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa said Friday she would not stay her own order requiring Ward’s phone records to be turned over to the select panel on Jan. 6, the Associated Press reports.
- She said Friday that the GOP chairman had failed to show how her First Amendment rights would be harmed by sharing the records with investigators.
- Humetewa said she found Ward’s “alleged concern speculative — and in light of revelations during oral arguments — questionable,” according to the AP.
Link: Humetewa’s ruling comes days after arguments in court over the lawsuit, which asked her cellphone carrier T-Mobile to turn over all call and text activity from November 2020 to January 2021, the Arizona Republic reports.
- This period was chosen because it includes when Ward helped rally voters at state party headquarters to cast ballots for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, should he win.
- Trump lost Arizona to Biden in the election, but Ward and others still rallied and declared themselves Arizona’s “duly elected and qualified” voters, according to the Republic.
The big picture: Ward, who posed as a fake voter for Trump, refused to answer questions during his own testimony with the panel, Politico reports.
- “She refused to answer all substantive questions and asserted her Fifth Amendment rights,” attorney Eric Columbus told Humetewa at a hearing earlier this month, according to Politico.