Capitol riot panel backs off push to snag RNC data

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Capitol riot panel backs off push to snag RNC data

The House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot is no longer pushing for the Republican National Committee to hand over documents ahead of scheduled public hearings next month. 

In a Sunday filing, House lawyers said the schedule set by a federal appeals court panel “makes clear that the information at the core of this case … cannot be obtained, analyzed, and utilized by the Select Committee in the public hearings scheduled during the next several weeks.”

“That information, therefore, could only be useful for additional hearings later this year and/or for an ensuing final Select Committee report recommending legislative action,” they wrote.

The committee initially subpoenaed software company Salesforce in February for email data between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021 — suggesting in the process that the RNC’s messaging and fundraising efforts during that time amplified then-President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud.

The RNC responded by filing a lawsuit against the committee in early March, calling the request “unconstitutional overreach.” 

However, their efforts to block the request were tossed out earlier this month, after a federal judge determined the subpoena was not “overbroad.”

The committee initially subpoenaed software company Salesforce in February for email data between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021.
The committee initially subpoenaed software company Salesforce in February for email data between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump stand outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
Violent insurrectionists loyal to former President Trump stand outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File
The RNC responded by filing a lawsuit against the committee in early March, calling the request “unconstitutional overreach.” 
The RNC responded by filing a lawsuit against the committee in early March, calling the request “unconstitutional overreach.” 
AP Photo/John Minchillo

The RNC quickly appealed the decision and a three-judge panel granted an injunction, preventing the committee from getting the records and setting a schedule for arguments to be held in the coming weeks. 

“The Select Committee is considering the information it now has and might receive regarding efforts by multiple entities to spread knowingly false statements alleging that the 2020 election was stolen,” the Select Committee’s legal team wrote.

“But the Select Committee recognizes that the Salesforce documentation will not be available on the timeline required for use in its hearings. The Select Committee no longer seeks the Salesforce documentation on a highly expedited schedule, and the Select Committee will continue to evaluate its needs for information on these and other related issues as additional material potentially becomes available from other sources.”

Lawyers for the panel have said they are looking to resolve the legal fight over the RNC records by late August.

The first in a series of public committee hearings is scheduled for June 9.

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