The House committee investigating the Capitol attack won a key legal battle on Sunday when a federal judge ruled that it could obtain internal data from the Republican National Committee about its efforts to fundraise off of election fraud conspiracy theories.

POLITICO reports:

In a landmark ruling rejecting an RNC lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge Tim Kelly said the select committee had demonstrated its need for the party’s data on its fundraising emails between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2021 — when the RNC and Trump campaign sent supporters messages falsely suggesting the election was stolen. The committee contends those emails helped sow the seeds of the violence that erupted on Jan. 6.

Kelly, a Trump-era nominee, also rejected several arguments Republicans have used to try to undermine the work of the committee.

“The RNC argues that the Select Committee lacks the proper authorization to wield investigative power on behalf of the House … But for a few reasons, especially given the House’s own reading of the authorizing resolution, the Court cannot agree,” Kelly wrote in his 53-page opinion.

Kelly’s ruling has the potential to impact future battles over the committee’s work. POLITICO explains:

For example, Kelly rejected the notion that the committee has been operating improperly because it has no members selected by GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy initially recommended five members to the panel, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of them — Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan — contending that they were too closely linked to Trump to be legitimate investigators. In response, McCarthy withdrew all five picks and boycotted the panel.

But Kelly argued that just because Pelosi disagreed with him — and then opted to permit the select committee to operate without its full 13-member contingent — does not make the committee invalid. Rather, Kelly noted that the House had repeatedly voted to accept the select committee’s recommendations to hold various Trump associates in contempt of Congress.

“[T]he House views the Select Committee to be duly constituted and empowered to act … even though the Select Committee has only nine members,” Kelly noted. “This understanding is reflected by the House’s adoption of the Select Committee’s recommendations to find witnesses in contempt of Congress for their refusals to comply with Select Committee subpoenas.”

CNN provides context:

The House Select Committee first demanded data about the RNC’s marketing emails in late February, and the RNC sued in March to block the handover of its information. The House investigators said they wanted to look at the back-end data related to hundreds of emails from the Trump campaign and the RNC to their supporters from November 3, 2020, to January 6, 2021, because the emails suggested the election results were fraudulent and asked for donations, according to court filings.

The House is trying to learn who worked on the email campaigns, how successful they were, and also how the marketing software company, Salesforce, reviewed and analyzed the pro-Trump rallies on January 5 and 6 and communicated with GOP officials, the court record says.

“The House panel will not obtain the Republican email marketing information immediately, however,” notes CNN. “Kelly is temporarily blocking the data from being turned over to the House until at least May 5, so the RNC has a chance to appeal.”