December 21, 2021
Former White House national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn has filed a restraining order to block a subpoena from the House Select Committee that is investigating the incident at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
He argues in his complaint that the subpoena, which would demand information and testimony from Flynn, was issued without legal authority.
The filing stated that Flynn had no part in organizing, speaking at, or participating in the rallies, protest,s or incursions that took place on Jan. 6, 2020.
The filed complaint named all nine members of the Select Committee as defendants, as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“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. Ex. A, Declaration of Michael Flynn (“Flynn Decl.”) ¶ 5. Nevertheless, the Select Committee—assuming the role of shadow prosecutor for the January 6 attack and working in parallel with the actual prosecutors at the Department of Justice—has diverted its attention from its important work to target General Flynn for a quasi-prosecution that is either aimless or transparently partisan,” the complaint reads.
“Despite not participating in any public events in Washington on January 6, Defendants have issued General Flynn a sweeping subpoena seeking twenty different categories of documents and a demand that General Flynn appears for a deposition in Washington, D.C. 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,” it adds.
Editors Note: See the filed complaint and filed motion here.
Earlier this month, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows announced he’s suing Pelosi and members of the partisan House January 6 Committee.
The lawsuit asks a federal court in Washington, D.C. to nullify subpoenas issued by the committee for Meadows’ testimony and his phone records. Meadows also argued that the demand for his cooperation with Congress is “overly broad and unduly burdensome.”
The lawsuit comes after Meadows informed the committee that he would no longer cooperate with its investigation.
Meadows argued in the filing that, “absent any valid legislative power,” may result in “grave harms” — namely that he could be “illegally coerced into violating the Constitution” in failing to comply with former President Trump’s claims of executive privilege.
“Mr. Meadows, a witness, has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims that are of constitutional origin and dimension and having to either risk enforcement of the subpoena issued to him” the complaint reads, “or, alternatively, unilaterally abandoning the former president’s claims of privileges and immunities.”
“Despite the need to maintain executive privilege and concerns about the breadth of the subpoena, Mr. Meadows continued to pursue the possibility of an accommodation that would allow the Select Committee to obtain non-privileged information,” the lawsuit alleges.
Meadows pointed out that he had handed over thousands of records to the committee, including “1,139 documents and 6,836 total pages” — all non-privileged — and “2,319 text messages and metadata from his personal cell phone.”
Meadows went on to argue in his lawsuit that the subpoenas from the House committee are “an unconstitutional attempt to usurp the Executive Branch’s authority to enforce the law and to expose what the Select Committee believes to be problematic actions by a political opponent. Congress has no authority to issue subpoenas for these purposes.”
Meadows announced that he is no longer cooperating with the Democrat-run Jan. 6 Committee, according to reports that cited a letter from his attorney.
Only two — Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — decided to sit on the committee