It’s Time to Stop the FBI from Continuing Down Its Dark Path

It’s Time to Stop the FBI from Continuing Down Its Dark Path

By Alexander Kolodin |

Today every Republican finds themselves asking a new question: “If I speak out, will the FBI come for me next”? Recently, the LD3 Republican Committee heard a “Resolution to Censure the FBI as the Arm of the Leftist Police State in Maricopa County.” The fear in the room was palpable, for nobody knows any longer where the First Amendment ends and “sedition” begins. Yet nonetheless, one brave man, the songwriter Bruce Arlen, stood up and began to read.

He read a damning condemnation of the weaponization of the DOJ and the perversion of the law. And he read a clear and resounding call for the Legislature and Governor of Arizona, through both words and actions, to provide the citizens of our state with the “double security” against invasion of their liberties for which the federal system was designed. His courage inspired others. The motion carried. Bravery is contagious.

I am also afraid. I have seen the mechanizations of the DOJ and J6 Committee up close and know that this is no idle political witch-hunt but a coordinated and deadly serious effort to decapitate the Republican Party’s leadership and cow ordinary Republicans into silence and inaction. To be sure, some of the rioters on January 6th appear to have broken the law. But most of the “crimes” that Washington’s tyrants are now investigating amount to no more than allegations that political opponents said things that they do not like. The others are mere pretexts to prosecute people for the same reason.

Over the past few months, I have fielded too many questions from the Republican grassroots about whether they can still communicate with party leadership safe from the prying eyes of the FBI. And as a lawyer, I have had too many citizens come to me to ask, “can I say this”? One is too many.

So let me be clear: President Trump has a constitutional and God-given right to say that the 2020 election was stolen. So do you. And President Trump, like all Americans, has a constitutional and God-given right to petition Congress to take action on the basis of that belief or any other. Had Congress acted, those acts would, perhaps, have been proper subjects of judicial review. The rights to expression and petition are not. They are absolute.

Unfortunately, citizens are increasingly aware that if they are unlawfully targeted for their speech, they can no longer rely on the procedural protections of the American justice system as they once might have. The left has long intimidated and harassed attorneys willing to represent conservatives through the traditional Soviet tactics of the midnight phone call and anonymous threat. With the 65 Project, the left has institutionalized this harassment through a coordinated and well-funded effort to “shame” such attorneys, “make them toxic in their communities,” and curtail their ability to practice law by filing bar complaints against them. Attorneys willing to defend conservatives, never many in number, are becoming a rapidly dying breed.

In a few months, I will place my hand on the Bible and swear to defend the constitutions of the United States and the State of Arizona against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Then, despite my fear, duty will no longer permit me the luxury of inaction. I have heard the cries of the people of my district and will make every effort to fulfill my sacred obligation to defend the liberties of the citizens of Arizona.

It is a fact unknown to most that the federal and state criminal codes are so lengthy and complex that almost everyone is a criminal. It is, for example, a federal offense to slice canned peaches incorrectly. When everyone is a felon, prosecutors have unfettered discretion to prosecute their political opponents for perfectly “real” crimes. To protect our rights to freedom of speech and association, I will work to reform the law to ensure that only things that you and I would perceive as morally wrong can be prosecuted.

Ten years ago, Congress caught the FBI teaching agents that they could “bend or suspend the law.” Its academy is notorious for teaching trainees that suspects have “forfeited their right to the truth.” Thus, should the FBI continue down its dark path, I will go further and heed the calls of my PCs to introduce legislation prohibiting the State of Arizona from sharing information with the FBI that might help facilitate their reckless political prosecutions.

I call on liberals of good faith to join in these efforts. The FBI began its metamorphosis under Hoover. I am not blind to the fact that it was one of my favorite Republican presidents, Calvin Coolidge who appointed him. The erosion of our constitutional liberties was furthered by Dick Cheney’s push to expand the power of the secret FISA courts to spy on American citizens. His daughter Liz Cheney now continues his dastardly work by serving on the J6 committee. Today they are coming for Trump and the GOP leadership. But tomorrow the midnight knock could be at the door of my home. Or yours.

Do not let yourself become used to these escalations. Do not let your anger diminish with each new outrageous assault on your rights. Do not allow your liberty to be slowly boiled away like the life of a frog in a pot. The time to stand is while the noose sits but lightly about the neck. The time to fight is now.

Alexander Kolodin is a constitutional attorney and a Representative-Elect to the Arizona House.

January 6 Committee to Interrogate Congressman Andy Biggs

January 6 Committee to Interrogate Congressman Andy Biggs

By Corinne Murdock |

The U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 incident announced on Monday that it requested a meeting with Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05). The committee called cooperation “a patriotic duty.” They asked that Biggs meet with them as soon as next Monday. 

In a letter, the January 6 Committee informed Biggs of four of an undisclosed number of issues it wished to discuss. 

The first issue concerned his participation in meetings to reject the election results, citing one House Freedom Caucus meeting which discussed a plan for former Vice President Mike Pence to refuse certain states’ electoral votes. The second issue concerned claims from Ali Alexander — an organizer of Stop the Steal, a campaign to resist the 2020 election results — that Biggs helped organize the January 6 protest. The third issue concerned Biggs’ communications with former President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that reportedly marked efforts to persuade elected officials in overturning the 2020 election. The fourth issue concerned Biggs’ name appearing among those requesting presidential pardons for involvement in election overturning efforts.

The committee said that it would use Biggs’ cooperation to “make informed legislative recommendations.” 

In raising each issue, the committee associated Biggs’ relation to Trump’s attempts to undermine American democracy and the Constitution, as well as Alexander’s calls for violence preceding January 6.

Biggs hasn’t issued a statement on the committee’s letter. 

The committee also requested cooperation from Congressmen Mo Brooks (R-AL-05) and Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13). Each congressman received a letter tailored to their involvement in the January 6 rally and Capitol breach. 

Brooks’ letter concerned his public remarks on a televised interview with CBS News and a press release in March. He claimed that Trump asked him to rescind the 2020 election results. Brooks said that he refused. The committee wanted to glean from Brooks additional evidence that Trump intended “to restore himself to power through unlawful means,” in a manner adverse to the Constitution. 

Jackson’s letter was the lengthiest. It included encrypted text messages from the founder and various members of Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia organization formed to defend the Constitution against perceived violations from government. Those messages asked members that breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to locate and protect Jackson because he had “critical data to protect.”

The committee asked Jackson why those charged with seditious conspiracy were attempting to protect him. Additionally, they asked Jackson to expound on his participation in the rally preceding the Capitol breach and efforts to barricade the House Chamber during the breach.

Like Biggs, neither Brooks or Jackson have issued statements on their committee letters.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Wards Argue Patients’ Medical Privacy Could Be Breached If Phone Data Is Disclosed To House Select Committee

Wards Argue Patients’ Medical Privacy Could Be Breached If Phone Data Is Disclosed To House Select Committee

By Terri Jo Neff |

A federal judge has been asked to award damages to the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party and her husband for fighting a Congressional subpoena which seeks detailed data from four phone numbers assigned to the couple’s T-Mobile business account, including records of calls to and from their medical patients.

Last week Kelli and Michael Ward filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to block a subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack in Washington DC. The subpoena demands T-Mobile turn over records for the period of Nov. 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021 from an account in the name of Mole Medical Services P.C., a company owned by the Wards.

The Feb. 1 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court seeks a court order declaring the Committee’s actions in issuing the subpoena violated federal law and Arizona law. It also seeks an order quashing the subpoena and enjoining T-Mobile from releasing any data to the Committee.

According to the Feb. 1 lawsuit, T-Mobile’s Legal and Emergency Response Team sent an advisory to Mole Medical Services after receiving the Jan. 19 subpoena. T-Mobile intended to comply with the subpoena on Feb. 4 unless provided proof by Feb. 2 of the filing of a motion for protective order, motion to quash, or other legal process “seeking to block compliance.”

The Committee has not commented on what drew their attention to the Wards or to their phone records, but the subpoena demands detailed records of incoming and outgoing calls—including call duration and associated phone numbers—as well as  metadata, or call data records.

The lawsuit and motion to quash argues that U.S. Supreme Court precedent places the burden on the House Select Committee to justify the need for the information being sought. Instead, the subpoena is so broadly written that it substantially infringes on “the right to privacy” guaranteed under Arizona state law, the lawsuit argues.    

The Wards were among the 11 Republicans whose names were listed on the 2020 General Election ballot as Arizona’s electors for then-President Donald Trump. Both also signed an “alternate” slate of Arizona electors which they hoped could be used on Jan. 6, 2021 instead of the 11 electors for now-President Joe Biden.

The lawsuit concedes Kelli and Michael Ward use their business account phones for personal calls, including political communications, but argues that the data which would be disclosed by T-Mobile does not relate to a sufficiently important government interest between the Wards and the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol.

In addition, two of the four phone numbers associated with the targeted T-Mobile account are used by the couple’s children, according to the lawsuit. “Congressional investigators cannot possibly have any legitimate investigative interest in invading the personal privacy rights of the Wards’ children,” the filings state.

Several arguments against the subpoena center on the Wards’ work as medical professionals which is provided state and federal privileges of medical privacy and physician-client communications. The Committee has not addressed how it would limit the use or disclosure of confidential patient information that might be revealed if T-Mobile releases the demanded data, the lawsuit argues.  

Kelli Ward is a practicing Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who practices medicine exclusively in the field of medical weight loss. She uses a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant videoconferencing system for telemedicine visits with her patients, although there are times she relies on her Mole Medical phone to speak with patients, the lawsuit states.  

Michael Ward is also a practicing Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who serves as medical director for an air ambulance company. He actively practices emergency medicine in Arizona, mostly in the Lake Havasu City area where the couple live in Mohave County.

“In certain circumstances, Michael Ward gives the Phone Number to patients to follow up on their questions, the status of their condition, and the state of the improvement of their health,” the lawsuit states, adding that the same number serves as a point of contact for Ward’s work for the air ambulance, which involves calls from emergency medical technicians and paramedics about patients.

The lawsuit which also names Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) in his official capacity as the Committee’s chairman calls into question whether the subpoena was properly issued by the Committee due to quorum issues as well as a House rule which requires the Committee’s members to “authorize” a subpoena. 

The case has been assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge James F. Metcalf. Each defendant will have 15 days to file a response once served with the Wards’ complaint and summons.

Arizona Democratic Party Fundraising for One-Year Anniversary of January 6 Riot

Arizona Democratic Party Fundraising for One-Year Anniversary of January 6 Riot

By Corinne Murdock |

Ahead of the anniversary of January 6, the Arizona Democratic Party’s (ADP) tone concerning the fateful rally-turned-riot shifted from somber to opportunistic. The ADP sent out a fundraising email this week requesting $10 or more donations to flip voters like the January 6 incident did, they said. 

The ADP informed recipients that over 20,000 Arizona voters switched from Republican to Democrat following the January 6 riot, which they referred to as an insurrection. They emphasized the importance of financing their grassroots efforts ahead of Thursday’s anniversary. 

“Starting today, just before the one-year anniversary of the insurrection, we’re using our Project 15/30 organizing program to reach out to every single one of those 20,000. We want to thank them for their courage and for standing up for our democracy,” read the email. “Team, efforts like this show that through Project 15/30, we’re fighting for every single vote in AZ. But running special programs like this takes people and resources to work. Can you donate $10 today so voter outreach programs like this one are successful?”

Project 15/30 intends to increase voter registration and strengthen party numbers in the 15 counties and 30 legislative districts across Arizona. The ADP launched the initiative early last August. 

ADP’s latest messaging conflicts with its previous rhetoric on the subject of the Capitol Hill riot. Throughout last year, the ADP honored the Capitol police officers that responded to the break-in. 

“We will never forget the events that took place in our Capitol on January 6, 2021,” wrote the state affiliate. “We stand with the heroic officers who risked their lives.”

The ADP also called for the punishment of Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) repeatedly. 

President Joe Biden plans to give an address on Thursday to commemorate last year’s riot. During the White House daily briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki promised that President Joe Biden would speak extensively on how former President Donald Trump was solely to blame for the January 6 riot.

The president is going to speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since — and the peril opposed to rule of law and our system of democratic governance. He will also speak to the work that we need to strengthen our democracy and our institutions to reject the hatred and lies we saw on January 6 to unite our country. I’d also note that President Biden has been clear-eyed about the threat the former president represents to our democracy and how the former president works to undermine basic American values and rule of law. And President Biden has spoken repeatedly about how the president has abused his office, undermined the Constitution, and ignored his oath to the American people in an effort to amass more power for himself and his allies. He sees January 6 as the tragic culmination of what those four years under President Trump did to our country and they reflected the importance to the President of winning. What he has called many times the battle for the soul of our nation. So just as you heard him say on January 6 of last year, I would expect that President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility that President Trump has for the chaos and carnage we saw, and he will forcibly push back on the lies spread by the former president in an attempt to mislead the American people and his own supporters, as well as in respect to his role in what happened.”

Psaki couldn’t answer as to whether Biden will call out Trump by name because they were finalizing the speech.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Sinema Among Senators Who Didn’t Vote On The January 6 Commission

Sinema Among Senators Who Didn’t Vote On The January 6 Commission

Arizona’s Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was one of eleven senators that did not cast a vote on a proposal to investigate the January 6, Capitol Hill protest. The proposal failed, needing 60 votes to pass.

Sinema was joined by fellow democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.

Progressives are furious with the moderate Sinema over her failure to cast a vote for what opponents describe as a “witch hunt.”

Sinema had previously urged her colleagues to support the proposal. She and Sen. Joe Manchin issued a joint statement in support of the commission:

“The events of January 6th were horrific,” the statement read. “We could never have imagined an attack on Congress and our Capitol at the hands of our own citizens. In the hours and days following the attack, Republican and Democratic members of Congress condemned the violence and vowed to hold those responsible accountable so our Democracy will never experience an attack like this again.”

The senators who didn’t vote on the bill include:

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana
Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina
Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington
Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota
Republican Sen. James Risch of Idaho
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Sinema offered no insight into her decision to skip the vote. The commission was sold as “bipartisan,” but few believed it would be little more than a third impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump.

Arizona’s junior senator, Mark Kelly, voted in favor of the commission.