(ConservativeHub.com) – Ever since the breach of the US Capitol on January 6, Americans, journalists, lawmakers, and lawyers have been trying to piece together just what happened during the chaos. However, many citizens have questioned the viability and legitimacy of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) Select Committee tasked with investigating the day’s events. One photojournalist has gone so far as suing the committee for its “invasive and sweeping subpoena” into her phone records.
Freelancer Sues House Select Committee
On Wednesday, December 15, freelance photojournalist Amy Harris filed a lawsuit in a Washington, DC, federal court against the committee. Harris, whose work appears in outlets like The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Time magazine, spent weeks leading up to January 6 photographing the Proud Boys with their permission.
Harris was in constant communication with the Proud Boys’ leader Enrique Tarrio leading up to the riot. Her involvement with and documentation of the group led the committee to subpoena Verizon Wireless for her phone records from November 1, 2020, through January 31, 2021. The cellphone carrier alerted Harris to the subpoena on December 2, and Harris quickly put together the lawsuit seeking to block the order.
Protecting First Amendment Rights
Harris’ lawsuit joins several others, including former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Trump advisor and lawyer John Eastman, in pushing back against the committee’s “invasive” subpoenas. All the lawsuits argue the subpoenas violate citizens’ First Amendment rights to privacy. In Harris’ case, her lawsuit is even more noteworthy because she’s a member of the press, and the First Amendment specifically protects America’s right to a free press, as well.
Balancing Transparency and Freedom
While it’s crucial to fully understand what happened on January 6, many argue that it’s just as critical the government protect every citizen’s personal freedom during the process. Thankfully, the courts are the perfect avenue for this balance to work itself out. In addition, protecting journalists, writers, and photographers’ work is how a free press thrives and can protect citizens from a corrupt government or other organizations.
So, as Americans continue to grapple with the political climate of the past two years, some continue to wonder whether Pelosi’s committee has alternative motives for their most recent requests. For now, it’s up to the attorneys and judges to decide whether these subpoenas will move forward or not.
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