January 6 Committee

Budowich v. Pelosi

Major Issue: Whether Speech or Debate Clause immunizes the Speaker of the House of Representatives and members of a committee from suits arising from the committee’s investigation and subsequent subpoenas.

Case Status: Awaiting the filing of an appeal.

Case Description: In November 2021, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol issued a subpoena to Taylor Budowich requesting production of documents and deposition testimony.  The Select Committee stated it had reason to believe Budowich had directed approximately $200,000 from undisclosed sources to pay for an advertising campaign to encourage people to attend the rally that immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol.  The Select Committee also issued a subpoena to J.P. Morgan Chase Bank for Budowich’s bank records dating back to October 2020.  J.P. Morgan notified Budowich of its intent to comply with the subpoena unless, within three days, Budowich could provide a legal basis for withholding the records.  Budowich did not do so and J.P. Morgan turned over the records. 

On the same day J.P. Morgan turned the records over, Budowich filed a complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Select Committee and its members, and J.P. Morgan Chase, asserting numerous constitutional violations and federal and state law claims.  Concurrently, Budowich filed a motion for a temporary restraining order for return of the records.  The congressional defendants and J.P. Morgan Chase moved to dismiss the lawsuit on a number of grounds. 

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the restraining order on January 20, 2022.  Budowich then moved to compel J.P. Morgan to provide him with advance notice at least 10 days before producing additional financial records to the Select Committee.  The D.C. District Court denied this motion on April 14, 2022.  On June 23, 2022, the D.C. District Court held that the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution barred Budowich’s claims against the congressional defendants.  The Court also held that Budowich’s claims against J.P. Morgan were moot and, even if they were not moot, they failed to state a claim because the bank did not engage in state action when it responded to the subpoena.

Procedural Posture: The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Richard J. Leon was assigned to the case.  Judge Leon denied Budowich’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order on April 14, 2022.  On June 23, 2022, the Court granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.

On December 24, 2021, Budowich filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Select Committee and its members, and J.P. Morgan Chase.  Judge Richard J. Leon was assigned to Civil Action No. 21-3366 (JEB).  On January 4, 2022, Budowich filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order for return of the bank records.  The D.C. District Court denied this motion on April 14, 2022 and dismissed the claims against all defendants on June 23, 2022.

No proceedings to date.

No proceedings to date.