Sher Tremonte Secures Victories for Congressional Committee Investigating January 6th Attack
In January 2022, Sher Tremonte achieved victories in emergency motion proceedings as part of its representation of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
Working with the Office of the General Counsel for the House of Representatives and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Sher Tremonte took the lead in preparing briefs in response to applications for emergency relief filed by Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump, and John Eastman, one of former President Trump’s advisors.
Both Budowich and Eastman sought to impede the Select Committee’s access to documents it had subpoenaed in connection with its investigation of the January 6th attack on the Capitol. In response, Sher Tremonte advanced several jurisdictional and substantive arguments on behalf of the Select Committee and the other Congressional defendants, who included Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the individual Representatives serving on the Select Committee.
On January 20, 2022, the Honorable James E. Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia decided in favor of the Select Committee. Ruling from the bench, Judge Boasberg held that the court had no jurisdiction to order the return of the documents received by the Select Committee and that, even if jurisdiction was proper, the court would uphold the Committee’s lawful composition, find that the Committee had a valid legislative purpose, and hold that the subpoena was not overbroad. In so ruling, Judge Boasberg agreed that “this Court has no jurisdiction to order Congress, because of the Speech and Debate Clause, to return documents that it has received. And I further agree that I do not have the authority to tell Congress what it can or cannot do with such documents.”
Likewise, on January 25, 2022 the Honorable David O. Carter of the Central District of California agreed with the Select Committee, largely denying Professor Eastman’s request for emergency relief. In his decision, Judge Carter highlighted the Select Committee’s “weighty and urgent” interest in obtaining documents to aid in its investigation and found that Select Committee was validly constituted, was pursuing a valid legislative purpose, and that Eastman’s First and Fourth Amendment rights were not violated by the subpoena.