Embattled former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Jan. 6 House select committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to prevent the enforcement of a subpoena and to avoid being held in criminal contempt for noncompliance.
The retired U.S. Army lieutenant general is requesting a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing “the committee has engaged in ‘outrageous intrusion’ by issuing extensive subpoenas to Flynn and his family, as well as ‘secret seizure of his and his family’s personal information from their telecommunications and/or electronic mail service providers,'” the Washington Examiner reported.
Flynn has denied involvement in the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol, but Politico detailed why he is seen as a “crucial target” of the panel:
He attended a Dec. 18, 2020, meeting in the Oval Office with Trump during which Flynn reportedly discussed deploying the military to seize voting machines in service of Trump’s effort to stave off defeat. That conversation came amid increasing indications that Trump was considering invoking the Insurrection Act amid his effort to remain in power.
Trump ultimately opted against taking that step, but many of those who violently attacked the Capitol anticipated he would, and cited this possibility as part of their calculus in participating in the riot.
“General Flynn did not organize, speak at, or actively participate in any rallies or protests in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, and he of course did not participate in the attack on the Capitol that day,” the lawsuit stated.
“The subpoena demands records of General Flynn’s communications about the 2020 election, and seeks to identify the basis for his beliefs and the persons with whom he associated, in addition to contacts with government officials, the motion reads. “It thus constitutes a frontal assault on his 1st Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and petition.”
Flynn’s attorney, Matthew Sarelson, said “the committee agreed to postpone General Flynn’s deposition to December 20, 2021, it would not agree to clarify or prioritize the Subpoena’s requests.”
“[T]here appeared to be no prospect these issues would be resolved absent the intervention of a court, and that General Flynn would seek the Court’s protection,” Sarelson wrote, according to Politico. “Committee counsel responded that the Committee’s preference would be for General Flynn to invoke his 5th Amendment privilege before the Committee, even if it was effectively the only thing he could do, and that the Committee could refer General Flynn for prosecution for contempt of Congress for not doing so.”
As reported by the Examiner, Flynn appeared on Newsmax the day before the Dec. 18 Oval Office meeting and talked about how then-President Donald Trump could “rerun” elections in key states.
“People out there talk about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times,” Flynn said during the interview:
Here’s Michael Flynn on Newsmax saying that Trump could order “military capabilities” to swing states and “rerun an election in each of those states.”
“People out there talk about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times.” pic.twitter.com/KNmiAGGiPF
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 18, 2020
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