Here’s what happened this week
It was a comparatively slow week in that we saw no new subpoenas or other big developments, but there were some new developments with the Republican National Committee’s lawsuit against the select committee, discussed in last week’s recap. The select committee was set this week to receive data it had subpoenaed from Salesforce, the company used by the RNC for its email communications platform. The RNC revealed in a court filing on Tuesday that Salesforce would begin producing documents to the committee unless a court intervened, after initially planning to withhold the data while the lawsuit was pending. The RNC added Salesforce as a defendant in its lawsuit against the select committee “in order to ensure it can obtain effective and complete emergency relief until this dispute is finally resolved on the merits.” On Wednesday, the select committee agreed to extend the deadline to allow Salesforce to comply with the subpoena, allowing arguments to be heard in the District Court in Washington, D.C. on April 1.
Salesforce is a cloud computing company. The fact that the committee subpoenaed it as part of its investigation suggests it could find, through the RNC’s data on Salesforce, that the Republican committee used its official tools to spread false claims about the election and encourage people to come to the rally on Jan. 6.
In a continuation of other news from last week, The New York Times reported that prosecutors had found that Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio possessed a document containing a detailed plan to storm the federal buildings around the Capitol. Tarrio, you will remember, was indicted last week for conspiring to disrupt the count of Electoral College votes on January 6. The Times reports that the document did not mention an assault on the Capitol itself, but the proposal to infiltrate surrounding buildings is similar to what actually occurred on the day of the attack. A judge decided on Tuesday that Tarrio will remain in jail until his trial begins.
Meanwhile, Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for the first time publicly acknowledged that she attended the rally on the Ellipse that preceded the assault on the Capitol. Thomas is a prominent conservative activist, but her husband has never recused himself from any cases that overlap with her work.
“I was disappointed and frustrated that there was violence that happened following a peaceful gathering of Trump supporters on the Ellipse on January 6,” Thomas told the conservative Washington Free Beacon in an interview. She said that she attended the rally for a brief time, but left before Trump took the stage, and denied playing any role in organizing the events of the day.
Whom to watch?
John Eastman, who will be appearing at the California Republican Assembly’s 2022 Annual Convention this weekend. This comes after a judge cut down the daily quota of documents Eastman has to review from 1,500 to 1,000.
- The Justice Department is reviewing film footage of the riot taped by a film crew that followed Proud Boys leader Enriquo Tarrio.
- NPR reports on new clues coming to light on the money that helped fund the Stop the Steal rally.
- The upcoming Jan. 6 Committee hearings and public reports are unlikely to be dense, technical presentations, according to CBS News.
- Michael Flynn appeared before the committee, but it’s unclear whether Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate showed up for his deposition.
- The January 6. Committee spent $1.6 million this past quarter.
- An elected official who helped found the group Cowboys for Trump will show up to court on horseback next week in his trial for participating in the riot, the Associated Press reports.
- Mike Pence switched up the script for presiding over the counting of electoral votes.
Best quote of the week on Jan. 6
“There are important and legitimate substantive questions about achieving goals like electoral integrity, racial equality, and political accountability that a democratic system like ours needs to be able to discuss and debate rationally in the political square. I fear we are losing that ability.” — Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, after acknowledging that she attended the “peaceful” rally ahead of the siege on the Capitol.