WASHINGTON (CN) — The House Jan. 6 committee urged the Supreme Court on Friday to stay out of a probe into two fake electors who falsely claimed that Donald Trump won their state in the 2020 election.
Kelli Ward and her husband are fighting a phone records subpoena from the committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection. The committee told the justices that Ward “aided in a coup attempt.”
“Because of the actions by former President Trump, those who physically attacked the United States Capitol, and people like Kelli Ward (who played a significant role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election), the events of January 6, 2021, were a national tragedy,” Douglas Letter, an attorney at the office of the general counsel for the House of Representatives, wrote in the committee’s brief.
Ward told Trump and his staff to “stop the counting” of election results in Arizona. While declaring herself as a doctor — neither Ward nor her husband went to medical school but are instead doctors of osteopathy — Ward said she was one of the “true electors for the presidency” in a Dec. 15, 2020, video.
The committee acknowledges that Ward was not present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but says her coordination with Trump and his allies to alter ballot tallies is of significant interest to the committee.
“She coordinated with President Trump and his allies to pressure local and state officials in Arizona to alter the ballot tallies,” Letter wrote. “She and other fake electors convened, voted, and transmitted fake electoral votes for President Trump, creating what she claimed was a challenge sufficient to justify throwing out the valid electoral votes from Arizona on January 6th.”
A district court dismissed a suit by the Wards fighting the committee’s subpoena for their records from telephone carrier T-Mobile in September. The Ninth Circuit affirmed. The Wards then appealed to the high court on Wednesday, claiming they were being persecuted for their politics. Kelli Ward is the chair of the Republican Party of Arizona.
Only hours after the application was submitted, Justice Elena Kagan granted a temporary stay to the lower court’s order while the court was briefed on the case.
The committee disputed Ward’s assertion that there was a need for extraordinary relief in the case.
“Kelli and Michael Ward’s application for emergency relief should be denied because they have raised no legal issue of continuing broad significance, and there is no conflict within the lower courts about the extremely narrow issue at stake here — which is ultimately a fact-bound question, given that the court of appeals rejected their claim even under the legal standard that they propose,” Letter wrote.
The committee notes its fast-approaching expiration date. Presumed to wrap up in January when the new Congress is sworn in, the committee is attempting to finish its investigation and issue a report on its findings by the end of the year. However, with only a few months left to complete its work, the committee still appears to be uncovering new information. It recently subpoenaed Trump and interviewed Virginia “Ginni” Thomas — the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas.Follow @KelseyReichmann
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