May 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge rejects RNC request to block email records from Jan. 6 committee

releasing any records to the House before Wednesday to give the national GOP committee time to appeal.
Law enforcement agents and officers evict protesters from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday rejected a bid from the Republican National Committee seeking to block its email vendor from releasing records to the Jan. 6 select committee.

Driving the news: "It is hard to imagine a more important interest for Congress than to preserve its own ability to carry out specific duties assigned to it under the Constitution," wrote U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly.

  • Kelly dismissed the RNC's claims that the House committee's subpoenas of Salesforce, the customer relationship management giant and a major RNC vendor, were "overbroad" and sought sensitive information.
  • "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," Kelly wrote.
  • Kelly temporarily barred Salesforce from releasing any records to the committee until May 5 to allow the RNC time to appeal.

The other side: "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," RNC chief counsel Matt Raymer said in a statement.

  • "The RNC will continue to fight for the Constitutional rights of Republicans across the country and will appeal this decision."

State of play: The RNC in March sued the House panel after it subpoenaed Salesforce for sensitive information about the RNC's fundraising.

  • The RNC also sued Salesforce itself in a last-ditch effort to block the email vendor from turning over internal data to the committee.
  • The Jan. 6 committee sought documents from the RNC's fundraising platform vendor, owned by Salesforce, which the committee says could contain evidence of fundraising practices based on falsehoods that may have contributed to the attack.
  • The RNC argued that the subpoena went beyond the scope of the congressional committee’s subpoena power.
  • "The subpoena’s valid legislative purpose is apparent enough to sustain it against this challenge," Kelly wrote.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from the RNC.

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