Salesforce, the customer relationship management company that brings companies and customers together owned by billionaire Marc Benioff, has found itself in the middle of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Capitol Hill riot in Washington that took place on January 6, 2021. On that day a mob of angry supporters of Donald trump’s raided the US Capitol hoping to stop the certification of the 2020 US presidential elections.
So, how did Salesforce get caught up in all of this? Well, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is apparently a client. It uses Salesforce software for its fundraising work. The US House of Representatives, which has a special committee investigating the events of Jan 6, subpoenaed the Salesforce records related to the RNC as they pertain to that day. But the RNC has gone to court to block the move, calling it a violation of its first and fourth amendment rights under the US Constitution.
The Hill reported that RNC Chief Counsel Justin Riemer called the subpoena issued to Salesforce “unconstitutional,” and that the RNC asked the court to expedite consideration of the case.
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“Even though the court has yet to weigh in, the Select Committee demands that Salesforce immediately turn over the private data of millions of Americans and the RNC’s political strategy which lie at the heart of our lawsuit. These heavy-handed tactics are wrong and a clear overreach,” Riemer wrote in a statement. “In order to protect the constitutional rights of the Republican Party and its millions of supporters, the RNC has added Salesforce to the lawsuit and asked the court to expedite consideration of the case.”
“The data the committee is attempting to seize can be used to piece together the RNC’s confidential and highly sought after digital political strategies,” the RNC wrote in a statement. “It could also be used to target and harass the RNC’s supporters, since this data contains private information about their political activities and beliefs.”
“Late in the afternoon on March 10, 2022, Salesforce’s counsel informed the RNC that after discussions with staff for the Select Committee. Salesforce indicated that it would not be able to withhold production during the pendency of this matter,” RNC attorneys wrote.
“Salesforce’s counsel represented to the RNC that absent a pending motion for emergency relief from this court, Salesforce would begin to produce documents to the Select Committee in compliance with the Salesforce Subpoena on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.”