The party sued the select committee last week, revealing that the panel had subpoenaed Salesforce in February and contending that the scope of the subpoena was so broad that it amounted to an illegitimate incursion on political rivals. The select committee dismissed that notion, emphasizing that it is pursuing evidence that the RNC’s post-election email deluge in 2020 — often coordinated with the Trump campaign —helped spur distrust in the results and contributed to the atmosphere that preceded the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The RNC indicated in its new filing that Salesforce had initially planned to withhold documents from the select committee while the lawsuit was pending. But the company changed course.
“Late in the afternoon on March 10, 2022, Salesforce’s counsel informed the RNC that after discussions with staff for the Select Committee … Salesforce indicated that it would not be able to withhold production during the pendency of this matter,” RNC attorneys wrote.
“Salesforce’s counsel represented to the RNC that absent a pending motion for emergency relief from this court, Salesforce would begin to produce documents to the Select Committee in compliance with the Salesforce Subpoena on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.”
The RNC has added Salesforce as a defendant in the lawsuit “in order to ensure it can obtain effective and complete emergency relief until this dispute is finally resolved on the merits,” the party’s attorneys write. “Although the RNC has named Salesforce as a defendant in this action, the RNC does not believe that Salesforce has breached any contractual or other duty to the RNC.”
The push by the select committee for the RNC’s data represents an aggressive effort by the panel to determine whether Trump allies used the official party apparatus to stoke false claims about election fraud and drive up attendance at his rally on Jan. 6, which bled into the mob attack on the Capitol.
The select committee’s subpoena to Salesforce, posted publicly by the RNC on Tuesday, calls for “all performance metrics and analytics related to email campaigns by or on behalf of Donald Trump for President, Inc., The Republican National Committee, or the Trump Make America Great Against Committee” for the period between Nov. 3, 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021.”
The subpoena also seeks records related to “login sessions by individuals associated with the Trump campaign or the RNC into Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud platform, including all related metadata.”
The committee is also asking for Salesforce’s internal analyses related to the pro-Trump protests on Jan. 5 and 6.
In the injunction motion filed on Tuesday evening, the RNC argued that the documents in question could expose records related to “tens of millions of RNC supporters, donors, and other partners with whom the RNC communicates.”
“They also include materials that would reveal crucial elements of the RNC’s internal deliberations and digital strategy such as metrics on how certain content performs, what subject lines and text messages lead to contributions, how certain individuals respond to specific content, and the results of message testing,” the party argued in its motion.
The RNC noted that much of its post-election effort focused on retaining Senate seats in Georgia in a pair of runoff elections.
In its motion for an injunction the party contended that the Justice Department — not Congress — should be the only entity investigating an attack on the Capitol that disrupted congressional functions and threatened the transfer of presidential power.
“While the governmental interest in investigation regarding the events of January 6th by the proper authorities is clearly substantial, under the Constitution, it is law enforcement and the Executive Branch that must pursue such an investigation, not Congress and the Select Committee,” the RNC argued.