The Democratic National Convention (DNC) can depose Sean Spicer, former Republican National Committee director and much-parodied White House spokesman, a federal judge said on Wednesday. The main question the DNC wants answered: Did Sean Spicer violate election rules?
The 35-year-old consent decree at the heart of the issue bars the Republican National Convention (RNC) from engaging in ballot security or suppressing voter efforts, Politico reported.
While Judge Michael Vazquez will allow the deposition, he denied the DNC’s request for an evidentiary hearing saying the DNC did not provide any evidence pointing to the RNC.
The consent decree is set to expire on Friday, but Vazquez hasn't made a decision about it yet.
“I’m going to reserve on the drop-dead date of the consent decree and we’ll go from there,” Vazquez said.
“As far as what’s before this court, you’ve presented me with no evidence of actual voter suppression efforts on the day of the election, much less tying it to the RNC,” the President Barack Obama-appointed judge continued, Politico reported.
“The DNC has a lot of resources and I know this was a big concern. Where is the evidence that there were ballot integrity measures and other suppression going on on Election Day, and then a reasonable inference that the RNC was involved in those?”
Vazquez said the DNC can hold a four-hour deposition and engage in a “targeted” search of Spicer's emails related to his presence on the fifth floor of Trump Tower, where party staffers had been instructed to avoid.
“It would seem as though there’s a lot unanswered by the article and a deposition of Mr. Spicer would be able to address those clearly,” Vazquez said.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice:
“In 1982, after caging in predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods, the Republican National Committee and New Jersey Republican State Committee entered into a consent decree with their Democratic party counterparts. Under that decree and its 1987 successor, the Republican party organizations agreed to allow a federal court to review proposed ‘ballot security’ programs, including any proposed voter caging.”