Court rules against Backpage CEO over subpoenaed docs

Court rules against Backpage CEO over subpoenaed docs

A federal court ruled on Tuesday that Congress does not have to give up documents it subpoenaed from the website Backpage.com, which a Senate panel investigated for enabling sex trafficking.

The Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations released a report in January accusing Backpage executives of knowingly facilitating child sex trafficking.

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During the investigation, the panel subpoenaed Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer for various documents.

Ferrer partly complied with the subpoena after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his claims to withhold some documents on grounds of attorney-client and work-product privilege.

Ferrer challenged that ruling. But the subcommittee moved in January to dismiss his appeal, arguing that since their investigation was closed in January the case was moot.

Ferrer, though, argued that the panel could re-open the probe and asked the court to order Congress to return or destroy the documents it had collected from him.

On Tuesday, court ruled that the Constitution prevents it from ordering “a congressional committee to return, destroy, or refrain from publishing the subpoenaed documents,” and dismissed the case.

Ferrer’s attorney did not immediately respond when asked for comment.