Michael Flynn sues House Jan. 6 select committee

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Michael Flynn sues House Jan. 6 select committee

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn is suing the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a bid to quash a subpoena for his testimony and phone records. 

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the federal district court for Fort Myers, Fla., one day before Flynn was scheduled to appear before the committee to testify. 

In the 42-page filing, Flynn alleged the committee’s request was an “outrageous intrusion” that risked violating his First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. 

“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. It thus constitutes a frontal assault on his 1st Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and petition,” the suit reads.

Michael Flynn alleged the committee’s request for his phone records was an “outrageous intrusion” that risked violating his First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
Michael Flynn alleged the committee’s request for his phone records was an “outrageous intrusion” that risked violating his First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

“Without intervention by this Court, General Flynn faces the harm of being irreparably and illegally coerced to produce information and testimony in violation of the law and his constitutional rights,” it continues. “He will also be illegally and irreparably harmed by the Select Committee’s unlawful and secret seizure of his and his family’s personal information from their telecommunications and/or electronic mail service providers.” 

Flynn wants the court to declare the current subpoena and future summonses from the committee as “unlawful and unenforceable” due to violations of his and his family’s Fourth Amendment rights as well as their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, his lawyer Matthew Sarelson wrote. 

In his suit, Flynn and his legal team cited the 45th president’s claim of executive privilege over some communications that took place on and around Jan. 6. 

Trump supporters storm the US Capitol building to  to protest the ratification of the then President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election.
Trump supporters storm the US Capitol building to to protest the ratification of the then President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election.
Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press

According to the lawsuit, Flynn informed the committee of his intention to sue on Monday, noting that there “appeared to be no” way to resolve his conflict with the committee’s requests without the intervention of a court. Sarelson wrote that the panel informed Flynn they could refer him “for prosecution for contempt of Congress” if he does not appear to testify.

The committee has pursued charges against multiple former Trump aides who have refused to comply with the subpoenas. However, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is the only one to have been indicted thus far.

In addition to Trump, several other figures affiliated with the events of Jan. 6 have taken legal action against the committee challenging their subpoenas and refused to testify. Those include former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and “Stop The Steal” campaign organizer Ali Alexander.

Michael Flynn is one of several Trump supports who have taken legal action against the senate committee.
Michael Flynn is one of several Trump supports who have taken legal action against the senate committee.
/ AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON / XGTYJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

In notifying Flynn of his subpoena last month, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) pointed to a meeting held Dec. 18, 2020 that Flynn reportedly attended and during which “participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the false message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud.” 

“The day before, Flynn gave an interview on Newsmax TV during which he talked about seizing voting machines, foreign influence in the election, and the purported precedent for deploying military troops and declaring martial law to ‘rerun’ the election,” Thompson added.

Among his other claims, Flynn’s suit argues that the committee is not legally constituted, since it does not include any members appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.).

Michael Flynn also named Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the lawsuit.
Michael Flynn also named Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the lawsuit.
EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

“Thus, the Select Committee as it currently stands — and stood at the time it issued the subpoenas in question — has no authority to conduct business because it is not a duly constituted Select Committee,” the suit reads.

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