Trump spokesman suing Jan. 6 panel, says he is cooperating with investigation
A spokesman for former President Trump said he has cooperated with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol but is seeking to block his bank records from the panel.
Taylor Budowich — who, according to his Twitter profile, is the director of communications for Trump and his Save America PAC — revealed in a lawsuit filed Friday that he has provided the panel with more than 1,700 pages of documents and has delivered roughly four hours of sworn testimony after being subpoenaed by the committee in November.
According to the panel’s subpoena, Budowich “solicited a 501(c)(4) organization to conduct a social media and radio advertising campaign to encourage people to attend the rally on the Ellipse” on Jan. 6, which was being held in support of Trump and his claims of election fraud.
The committee said it has a reason to believe that Budowich funneled roughly $200,000 from one or several undisclosed sources to finance the campaign.
Budowich on Friday filed a lawsuit against the committee, its members and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in an effort to block JPMorgan Chase from having to hand over his banking information to the committee as requested in a subpoena his bank received.
The Trump spokesman is claiming that the panel “lacks the lawful authority to seek and to obtain” the bank records, contending that he will “suffer irreparable harm by having a third party involuntarily produce his private and personal financial information.”
The lawsuit points to his cooperation with the committee as a reason his bank should not have to hand over his financial records.
It says the documents he provided to the committee were “sufficient” to identify transactions made between Dec. 19, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021, in connection to the rally at the Ellipse.
The lawsuit also says Budowich answered questions at his deposition “concerning payments made and received regarding his involvement in the planning of a peaceful, lawful rally to celebrate President Trump’s accomplishments.”
“Despite Mr. Budowich’s continuing cooperation with the Select Committee, upon arriving home from his deposition before the Select Committee in Washington, D.C., Mr. Budowich had a notice from his bank that he had until 5:00 p.m. the next day, Christmas Eve, to respond,” the lawsuit reads.
“The Select Committee’s deceptive tactics to ambush Mr. Budowich and deprive him of a meaningful opportunity to object to the production of personal financial records demonstrates a lack of good faith by the Select Committee,” the lawsuit continues.
The Trump spokesman also took issue with the timing of the bank subpoena. The lawsuit says he received a letter dated Dec. 21 from JPMorgan Chase on Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. Eastern time that said it was going to produce documents requested in the subpoena unless Budowich provided the bank with “documentation legally obligated it to stop taking such steps” by Dec. 24 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
The lawsuit says the committee “refused to extend the deadline for when JPMorgan could produce documents and Mr. Budowich could file this lawsuit to object” despite the banks being closed nationwide for the holiday weekend.
“Government should not be a weapon that’s freely used against political opponents and private citizens–but it seems like this Democrat-led Congress is intent on codifying that precedent,” Budowich said in a statement on Friday regarding the lawsuit.
He also claimed that the committee did not provide him or JPMorgan Chase with “a copy of the actual contents of the subpoena.”
Full Statement. pic.twitter.com/VpmlpYpkZA
— Taylor Budowich (@TayFromCA) December 25, 2021
The Hill reached out to the select committee for comment.
Budowich is the latest individual to take legal action against the select committee. Far-right radio host Alex Jones and former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have both filed lawsuits against the committee and Pelosi.
Trump sued the committee and the National Archives in October after President Biden waived executive privilege for Trump White House records the panel had requested for its investigation.
After losing a number of battles in lower courts, Trump earlier this week filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court requesting that the jurors block the National Archives from handing over the requested records to the committee.
Hours later, the panel filed an expedition request asking that the bench respond to the former president’s request by mid-January because a delay in making a decision would “inflict a serious injury on the Select Committee and the public.”
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