Sebastian Gorka sues Jan. 6 panel to block phone records subpoena

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Sebastian Gorka sues Jan. 6 panel to block phone records subpoena

Sebastian Gorka, a conservative radio host and onetime aide to former President Donald Trump, has launched a legal fight against the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in a bid to block the panel from obtaining his phone records. 

Gorka’s suit was filed in Washington DC federal district court on Tuesday and alleges that the committee is abusing its power to obtain the records, calling it a “partisan fishing expedition.”

“Under the cover of its investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, the Select Committee abused its power by unlawfully subpoenaing a cell phone service provider to produce the call records of Dr. Gorka, the host of a political radio show,” the suit reads. 

“Dr. Gorka was not a member or leader of any organization that sponsored any events on Jan. 6, and was not present at the Capitol on that day,” the document goes on. “Although invited to speak at an event at the Supreme Court that day, his speech was cancelled, and therefore, he only observed the speeches at the Ellipse as one spectator among many and left. He has committed no crime, and he has done nothing, and has no information, that could provide the basis for new laws.

The suit claims that Gorka was not involved or present for any events at the Capitol on January 6.
The suit claims that Gorka was not present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
REUTERS

“Accordingly, there is absolutely no valid legislative purpose to be served by obtaining and viewing his private phone records: it is a purely partisan fishing expedition.”

Gorka announced that his records had been subpoenaed during Turning Point USA’s winter conference last month. 

While on stage, the radio host brandished a FedEx package and revealed that Verizon had sent him documents saying he needed to turn his phone records over within 15 days to avoid an injunction. 

Gorka is one of several allies of former President Donald Trump that was asked to turn over records.
Gorka is one of several allies of former President Donald Trump that was asked to turn over records.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

“This committee is illegal,” Gorka said, according to the Daily Beast. “No crime is mentioned. What am I accused of doing? Because I was meant to be speaking on the same day at the Supreme Court but didn’t because the president’s speech went too long. That’s my crime in America? Speaking?” 

Gorka added: “You choose the wrong enemy.”

According to the suit, the committee issued the subpoena to Verizon on Dec. 15. The phone company informed Gorka of the request two days later.

Gorka revealed that he received a subpoena in December at a Turning Point USA event.
Gorka revealed that he received a subpoena in December at a Turning Point USA event.
Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press Wire

Gorka’s legal team also took issue with the committee requesting the documents from Verizon first instead of approaching Gorka himself and alleged the request “epitomizes an investigation run amok.”

“The toxic forces rending this country apart will only be strengthened, and the goal of more tranquil times will be more elusive, if any party holding a majority of seats in the House of Representatives can hunt down and persecute citizens, including journalists, because of their political sympathies and speech in an effort to silence that speech,” the filing reads.

Several other Trump allies who have been asked to turn over relevant communications or testify before the committee have declined, citing their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. 

Gorka called the committee's request for his records a “partisan fishing expedition."
Gorka also slammed the committee and called it “illegal.”
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File

Others, including former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, have also turned to legal action. 

Last month, Flynn lost his bid to block the subpoena after a judge ruled there was “no basis to conclude that Flynn will face immediate and irreparable harm” through the document request.

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