Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, spouse, sue to block Jan. 6 panel from accessing phone records
WASHINGTON — Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward and her husband, Michael Ward, filed a suit Tuesday against the Jan. 6 House select committee for subpoenaing the couple’s phone records.
The Wards allegedly signed documents falsely claiming to be among Arizona’s presidential electors in 2020. The suit sought to block phone provider T-Mobile from sharing records with the committee, according to records obtained by Politico.
The lawsuit has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich, wife of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Senate candidate and ally of former President Donald Trump.
The phone records were subpoenaed from T-Mobile and the Ward’s company, Mole Medical Services P.C., in January, according to court records. Data were requested from Nov. 1, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021 – a period that starts on the eve of the 2020 presidential election and ends weeks after the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
T-Mobile indicated it would turn over records to the committee by Feb. 4 unless the Wards filed suit.
In the suit, the couple argued the subpoenas violate patient-physician privilege. The Wards are osteopathic doctors who talk to their patients over the phone.
“Disclosing the phone records and metadata from the Phone Number would provide the PHI of an unknown but quantifiable number of individuals seeking medical treatment from the Plaintiffs to the Committee and potentially to the public at large,” an attorney representing the couple wrote. “Therefore, the enforcement of the Subpoena must be enjoined until and unless limitations are put in place to protect the PHI of the Plaintiffs’ patients.”
Kelli Ward was among the most prominent GOP leaders who backed Trump’s claims of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election. She filed a lawsuit seeking to have a judge void President Joe Biden’s 10,457-vote win in Arizona with the Maricopa County Superior Court soon after Election Day, according to The Arizona Republic.
The Wards, who were designated pro-Trump electors had the former president won Arizona, also joined a lawsuit against former Vice President Mike Pence in December 2020 to pressure the former vice president to challenge the election results ahead of Jan. 6, Politico reported.