Photographer Plans to Sue Jan 6. Committee Over First Amendment Violations

Photographer Plans to Sue Jan 6. Committee Over First Amendment Violations

( – In June, the House of Representatives established a commission to investigate the events of January 6 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Most of the legislators sitting on the committee are Democrats with only two Republicans joining them in their quest to find out exactly what happened and who all participated in the planning of the breach. In its pursuit, the group sent out a few rounds of subpoenas for testimony and phone records it felt would reveal relevant information for the investigation. Those who refuse are facing consequences, but at least one photographer is fighting back, saying the demand for her records violates her First Amendment rights as an American citizen.

The freelance photographer, Amy Harris, alleges the “invasive and sweeping subpoena,” covering November 1, 2020, through January 31, 2021, would reveal confidential sources who trust her as a journalist to keep quiet. She also showed concern about her own safety should the committee learn the contents of her phone. In addition, the suit mentions the subpoena violates her Fourth Amendment right “against unlawful search and seizure.”

Others Join the Fight

Harris isn’t the only one resisting requests from the January 6 commission. Former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sued the panel for using its overreach into his private cell phone records at Verizon. He alleged the subpoenas were “overly broad and unduly burdensome.” The suit followed the House’s decision to hold Meadows in contempt, recommending he face charges for not fully cooperating in the investigation. The Department of Justice will decide if the ex-administration member will face criminal charges.

Meadows’ suit outlines a cautionary tale of partisan committees violating free speech rights at will. Among those mentioned were several Fox News correspondents and Donald Trump Jr.

Text Message Revelations

On December 13, Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) read text messages that occurred during the January 6 riots, which implored Meadows to talk former President Donald Trump into calling off his supporters from the Capitol and telling them to go home. Several lawmakers reportedly texted the former chief of staff, which Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) also read aloud. One of the legislators was Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), who requested former Vice President Mike Pence call out the electoral votes he thought were unconstitutional. That text message turned out to be tampered with allegedly by Schiff.

Although the American people need to learn what happened on January 6, it appears the self-appointed committee is going to extreme measures to pull the information it wants, even if it means possible rights violations along the way.

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