Judge Timothy J. Kelly and his colleagues on the D.C. District Court have acted as little more than rubber stamps for the Justice Department’s abusive prosecution of January 6 defendants. As I reported last month, Kelly, a Trump appointee, continues to hold six nonviolent Capitol protesters behind bars while allowing the Biden regime to delay trial dates and skirt its discovery obligations.
After months of tolerating the government’s broken promises related to sharing evidence with defense attorneys, Kelly finally issued a toothless order to compel prosecutors in one major case to finally produce Brady material or face consequences. (He won’t do anything.)
But Kelly isn’t just helping Joe Biden’s Justice Department punish Americans who dared to protest Joe Biden’s election that day. In a shocking ruling issued Sunday night, Kelly gave his imprimatur to the House Democrats’ January 6 select committee, paving the way for hyperpartisan, vengeful lawmakers such as Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to potentially access the private information of Republican campaign contributors.
In February, the select committee subpoenaed Salesforce, a data and digital communications vendor for the Republican National Committee, demanding all records associated with fundraising efforts between Election Day and January 6, 2021—an event the committee’s lawyers refer to in court filings as an attack by “domestic terrorists.” The subpoena covered outreach conducted by the RNC, the Trump reelection campaign, and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee—a breathtaking trove of internal records and documents were requested including all communications between the company and the political organizations as well as any data reports generated by Salesforce.
The committee claims emails with hyperbolic language intended to raise money before Congress’ joint session on January 6 were culpable for inciting violence.
“There is evidence suggesting that numerous defendants charged with violations related to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol and others present on the Capitol grounds that day were motivated by false claims about the election,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson wrote in an accompanying letter. “The Select Committee is seeking information regarding whether and how the Trump campaign used Salesforce’s platform to disseminate false statements about the 2020 election in the weeks leading up to the January 6 attack.”
Thompson’s inquisition, of course, is completely unrelated to what happened on January 6, as is everything undertaken by his sham committee. It is part of a concerted crusade to criminalize wrongthink about the 2020 election, which so far has resulted in charges against 800 Americans and ongoing lawfare against Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers including attempts to remove election-doubting representatives from the 2022 ballot.
But targeting a company that houses an untold amount of donor data took the committee’s witch hunt to a new level; the RNC quickly filed a lawsuit in response. Arguing the subpoena would allow the committee to access the “private, personal information” of Republican contributors, the RNC asked Kelly to intercede.
“The breadth and invasiveness of the Salesforce Subpoena is astounding,” RNC attorneys wrote in their March complaint. “It seeks information on vast numbers of Republican donors, volunteers, supporters, and coalition members. If forced to comply, Salesforce would disclose records regarding whether and how individual RNC supporters have responded to emails (including at what time they opened such emails), reacted to specific political messaging, signed any RNC petitions, completed any surveys on specific issues and policy proposals, or responded to specific fundraising appeals. It would also include information regarding individual voting habits, involvement in various coalition groups, and even what political merchandise they liked best.”
The information sought by the committee, the RNC noted, is on “persons opposed to the political party in control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Select Committee.” The RNC also argued that the committee is violating the originating legislation—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to seat two members appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and instead appointed Trump haters Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)—and the Salesforce subpoena violates First and Fourth Amendment protections.
But the committee pushed back, insisting that the groups “directly solicited funds by claiming that the election could be overturned during the January 6th joint session of Congress,” and that this language led to violence.
One email, according to the committee, appealed for funds as Congress convened that day. “Less than an hour after that email was sent, domestic terrorists seeking to stop the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 Presidential election launched a violent assault on the United States Capitol,” committee attorneys wrote in response. (The committee narrowed the scope of the subpoena and claimed personal information would be protected but left most of its initial request intact.)
Now, even the most dense, most partisan judge on any bench would be able to see right through the January 6 committee’s partisan stunt. Surely Kelly, who has lived in Washington, D.C. his entire adult life and worked for Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill prior to his appointment to the court, is aware the Democrats are in for a major shellacking in November. Accessing and then leaking any Republican donor information would not just vilify GOP contributors but also scare away other would-be donors to Republican officials and candidates this year.
But once again, Judge Kelly sided with the regime. Acknowledging the “exceedingly rare spectacle of a congressional committee subpoenaing the records of one of our country’s two major political parties,” Kelly nonetheless denied the RNC’s request for injunctive relief.
“For starters, the Select Committee is hardly on an unconstrained ‘fishing expedition’ into the RNC’s records,” Kelly wrote in his May 1 order. “It has requested information only relating to emails sent from November 3, 2020 to January 6, 2021. That two-month window is plainly relevant to its investigation into the causes of the January 6 attack.”
Some of the emails, Kelly admitted, will be “unrelated” to the election or election lawsuits but overall the information produced by Salesforce “will give the Select Committee the context to understand how much attention and interest was generated by emails that asserted the election was fraudulent or stolen. By providing this ‘context,’ this information will ‘materially aid’ the Select Committee’s valid legislative purpose.”
Kelly never questioned the premise of the committee—allegedly to investigate the “attack” on the Capitol—and instead repeatedly bolstered its legitimacy. The committee, Kelly claimed, has a “strong interest in the records demanded” as it prepares “remedial legislation” to make sure another “attack” never happens again. (Democrats suggested they might use the email campaigns as examples of what to “target in any potential legislation to combat dangerous political disinformation.)
“[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,” Kelly said, referring to the Electoral College certification, which was delayed only about eight hours due to the protest.
The RNC plans to appeal the ruling but that will end up before the second rubber-stamp bench at the D.C. Circuit Court. Meanwhile, the committee announced Monday it would seek depositions from three more Republican House members. Thompson has scheduled a series of public hearings beginning next month.
Democrats know they will likely lose control of this issue by the end of the year—they see no reason to halt their scorched earth crusade anytime soon. They can’t beat Republicans at the ballot box so Democrats are using every governmental, legislative, and legal weapon at their disposal to destroy them in court and in the court of public opinion.
And thanks to judges like Tim Kelly, Democrats are succeeding.