The panel sees Ward as an integral part of Donald Trump’s effort to assemble false slates of electors and use them as part of a broader scheme to disrupt the transfer of presidential power to Joe Biden.
Kagan gave the select panel until Friday at 5 p.m. to respond.
The panel subpoenaed T-Mobile for Ward’s records in February, and Ward quickly sued to prevent T-Mobile from complying. A federal District Court judge in Arizona rejected Ward’s effort to block the subpoena earlier this month. On Saturday, a 2-1 panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down Ward’s request to set the District Court ruling aside.
Ward’s appeal is the latest 2020 election-related matter to land before the Supreme Court in recent days. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) similarly appealed to the Supreme Court to block a subpoena to testify from an Atlanta-area prosecutor investigating Trump’s effort to overturn the election in Georgia. A response from the local prosecutor is due Thursday.
Ward contends that the Jan. 6 select committee subpoena would chill her First Amendment rights and serve as a back door for the panel to explore her political contacts as head of the Arizona GOP. Ward, a medical doctor, also raised concerns about patient privacy.
The lower courts rejected those positions, noting that the select committee had demonstrated a need for her testimony on a matter of grave importance to the country and had sought only a limited set of her phone records — covering the period from Election Day 2020 to the end of Trump’s term. The phone records also don’t include the content of any texts or other details about the substance of any calls, judges noted.
Ward served as one of the pro-Trump electors who signed certificates claiming to be qualified electors despite Biden’s victory in their states. She and others on the pro-Trump slate were among those who received grand jury subpoenas from federal prosecutors investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election. Ward indicated in a recent court filing that the Justice Department has not taken any steps to enforce those subpoenas in recent months.
Ward also asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in an appearance before the Jan. 6 select committee, a fact that the appeals court panel majority noted could be held against her in the civil lawsuit.