Appeals court temporarily blocks Jan. 6 committee from getting RNC records
A federal appeals court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the House Jan. 6 select committee from obtaining Republican National Committee (RNC) records while the GOP challenges a subpoena for documents pertaining to its fundraising efforts in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, 2021.
A three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the RNC a temporary administrative injunction prohibiting third-party vendor Salesforce from turning over the party’s fundraising records to the select committee. The injunction will remain in effect until the judges decide the RNC’s emergency motion for a more lasting injunction, the panel said in a brief order.
“The purpose of this administrative injunction is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion,” the panel said.
All three judges on the panel were appointed by former President Trump.
Salesforce would have been able to turn over the records as early as Wednesday when a lower court’s injunction was set to expire.
The RNC is appealing a federal judge’s decision from earlier this month ordering Salesforce to comply with the subpoena. The national committee had asked the D.C. Circuit panel to prevent the subpoena from being enforced while it makes its case on appeal.
“Without an injunction, the RNC will have no opportunity to obtain relief on appeal, as Salesforce has indicated it will respond to the Subpoena and the Congressional Defendants claim the Court is without authority to award relief once Salesforce produces,” the RNC’s lawyers wrote in a court filing earlier this month.
The select committee responded by arguing it has an urgent need for the records as it prepares for public hearings to begin as early as next month.
“An injunction pending appeal would deprive the Select Committee of key information relevant to its investigation, its public hearings, and its consideration of legislation,” the select committee said in its own filing. “Further delay in obtaining the materials sought by the subpoena could obscure key facts and affect Congress’ efforts to prevent January 6th from recurring in our rapidly approaching next election cycle, or in the future.”
It’s unclear when the appeals court panel will decide whether to grant the RNC a longer-lasting injunction.