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Trump spokesperson sues Jan. 6 committee over financial records – POLITICO

Taylor Budowich, current spokesperson for former President Donald Trump, on Friday sued the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, trying to block it from gaining access to his financial records.

Besides the Jan. 6 committee and its nine individual members, Budowich also sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. Budowich indicated in the suit that he had already provided “more than 1,700 pages of documents“ and “roughly four hours of sworn testimony” to the panel, cooperation that he said should have precluded the subpoena for his records.

Budowich joins a growing list of people who have sued the Jan. 6 committee in recent weeks, mostly to either block the committee from obtaining phone records or enforcing subpoenas for documents and testimony. Budowich, however, is seeking to prevent J.P. Morgan from turning over his financial records, the first known suit of its kind.

“The Select Committee wrongly seeks to compel Mr. Budowich’s financial institution to provide private banking information to the Select Committee that it lacks the lawful authority to seek and to obtain,” Budowich’s suit argued.

He filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia along with Conservative Strategies, Inc., which is described as “a California for profit corporation.” Budowich is identified in the filing as its “sole owner.”

The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), is seeking information from Budowich pertaining to the source of the funds for the planning and promotion of the Jan. 6 rally that directly preceded the Capitol rioting.

“According to information provided to the Select Committee and press reports,” the committee wrote to him on Nov. 22, “you solicited a 501(c)4 organization to conduct a social media and radio advertising campaign to encourage people to attend the rally held on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, in support of then-President Trump and his allegations of election fraud. The Select Committee has reason to believe your efforts include directing to the 501(c)(4) organizations approximately $200,000 from a source or sources that was not disclosed to the organization to pay for the advertising campaign.”

At his deposition, Budowich said in the lawsuit, he answered questions on “his involvement in the planning of a peaceful, lawful rally to celebrate President Trump’s accomplishments.“

Budowich was subpoenaed the same day as two prominent and very vocal Trump allies, Roger Stone and Alex Jones.

As has become common in these lawsuits, Budowich contended that the committee is illegitimate for a number of reasons.

“The Select Committee acts absent any valid legislative power and threatens to violate longstanding principles of separation of powers by performing a law enforcement function absent authority to do so,” his suit argued.

He also contended, as others have, that the committee does not have authority because Pelosi appointed two Republicans to the panel without the agreement of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — the only two Republicans on the panel.

Budowich delved further into those themes in a statement he issued after his lawsuit was disclosed.

“Democracy is under attack. However, not by the people who illegally entered the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, but instead by a committee whose members walk freely in its halls every day,” he said.

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

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