When the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack reached out to Arizona’s Kelli Ward in February, no one was especially surprised. After all, the right-wing chair of the Arizona Republican Party was a pro-Trump fake elector after the 2020 election.
What’s more, Ward has been accused of helping assemble the larger slate of fake electors in her home state, while filing lawsuits in the hopes of nullifying Arizona’s election results. She also joined a lawsuit that hoped to force then-Vice President Mike Pence to help Donald Trump keep the presidency, despite the will of the voters.
Just a few months ago, we also learned of December 2020 email from a Republican lawyer who helped organize the bogus electors in Arizona. The lawyer wrote to the Trump campaign that Ward recommended trying to keep the scheme “under wraps until Congress counts the vote Jan. 6th (so we can try to ‘surprise’ the Dems and media with it) — I tend to agree with her.”
In other words, Ward has an important perspective. Evidently, she’s not eager to share that perspective. Politico reported:
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid answering questions from the Jan. 6 select committee, a lawyer for the panel revealed in federal court Tuesday. “Dr. Ward was deposed by the select committee, and she declined to answer on every substantive question and asserted her rights under the Fifth Amendment,” select committee attorney Eric Columbus said during a court hearing before Arizona-based U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa.
It’s worth emphasizing that while we learned of this yesterday, it’s unclear precisely when Ward sat down with investigators and refused to answer questions.
It’s also worth noting that the Arizona GOP chair has quite a bit of company. Let’s circle back to our earlier coverage and review the list of high-profile figures from Trump’s orbit who’ve invoked the Fifth recently:
- Donald Trump took the Fifth in August, as part of a New York investigation into his allegedly fraudulent business practices.
- Eric Trump, in this same civil case, reportedly invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to more than 500 questions.
- Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser and GOP operative, said two weeks later that he also took the Fifth.
- Alex Jones, by his own admission, invoked the Fifth nearly 100 times when the professional conspiracy theorist sat down with congressional investigators.
- Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, also took the Fifth, reportedly more than 100 times.
- Michael Flynn, the beneficiary of a Trump pardon despite having previously pleaded guilty to felonies, took the Fifth in response to investigators’ questions in March.
- John Eastman, a Republican lawyer who allegedly played a leading role in the overall coup scheme, reportedly invoked the Fifth with both the Jan. 6 committee and a Georgia special grand jury.
“The mob takes the Fifth Amendment,” Donald Trump said in 2016, deriding those who assert their right against self-incrimination. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”
The relevance of the quote continues to linger.