Federal appeals court reverses ruling on Jan. 6 subpoena to RNC, dismisses case
Appellate judges went out of way to acknowledge RNC’s appeal raised important issues and also took a dig at Democrats for vacillating.
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A federal appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling ordering the Republican National Committee to comply with a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee, poking the Democrat-led investigation for vacillating on key issues and acknowledging there were "important and unsettled constitutional questions" about whether the panel is lawfully constituted.
The U.S. Circuit Court for Appeals or the District of Columbia said it was dismissing the case because the Jan. 6 committee withdrew the subpoena to the RNC seeking records of its dealings with a digital fund-raising vendor Salesforce.
"The RNC's appeal has become moot," the appeals court ruled in dismissing the case.
You can read the full ruling here:
Ordinarily, when a dispute is withdrawn, a federal appeals court issues a very brief order of dismissal. But the appellate judges went out of their way to acknowledge the RNC's concerns about the subpoena raising important issues and that the lower court's ruling needed to be reversed.
"The RNC claimed that disclosure of these documents would reveal sensitive information about its digital strategy, so it sued to prevent the disclosure," the appeals judges wrote. "The RNC argued that the Committee was not lawfully constituted and that the subpoena violated the First Amendment."
They also said: "Because the Committee caused the mootness and thereby deprived us of the ability to review the district court’s decision, and given the important and unsettled constitutional questions that the appeal would have presented, we vacate the district court's judgment."
The court also took issue with the House Democrat committee for playing essentially a game of hurry up, then wait.
"The Committee has taken various positions on whether and when it needs the subpoenaed RNC documents," the judges noted, citing a history of urgent requests followed by delay and then eventually withdrawal of the subpoena.