A day after he failed to appear before the January 6 committee for congressional testimony, Michael Flynn sued to block the committee from accessing his phone records. The former national security adviser is now the latest Trump confidant to take the committee to court.
On Tuesday, Flynn sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and all nine of its members, including chair Rep. Bennie Thompson and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Florida, specifically seeks to “invalidate and prohibit the enforcement of a subpoena” issued to Verizon for Flynn’s phone records, which Flynn says is “in violation of his constitutional rights and the laws of the United States.” Flynn is also seeking to block the committee from both obtaining and releasing the phone records of his family members, according to the lawsuit.
Flynn’s time as former President Donald Trump’s top national security aide was extremely brief, as he resigned less than a month into Trump’s tenure in 2017 after admitting he’d lied to top administration officials about a phone call with the Russian ambassador concerning sanctions.
But Flynn remained in Trump’s orbit through his presidency, and in the final months of his term, Trump pardoned Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation. As the White House tried to plot a way to overturn the 2020 election results, Flynn was present for a Dec. 18, 2020, meeting in the Oval Office where participants reportedly discussed the possibility of Trump issuing an order declaring a national emergency and using the military to seize voting machines.
Flynn said as much publicly during a Dec. 17, 2020, interview with Newsmax. “Within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states," Flynn told host Greg Kelly. "I mean, it's not unprecedented. These people are out there talking about martial law like it's something that we've never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times, Greg.”
“I'm not calling for that. We have a constitutional process,” he added.
Flynn was originally set to appear before the January 6 committee on Dec. 6 along with Nicholas Luna, a former personal assistant to Trump. The committee postponed the deposition to Dec. 20, but that day, Flynn’s lawyers told the committee’s counsel “that its legal concerns with the subpoena issued to General Flynn remained unresolved” and so they would seek court intervention, the lawsuit says.
Flynn isn’t the only Republican tied to Trump seeking to stall the committee’s work. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also sued the committee earlier this month after he stopped cooperating with investigators. The House later voted to hold Meadows in contempt; Flynn’s lawsuit says House investigators told Flynn he could also be referred for contempt of Congress.
Eight people, including Meadows and Flynn, have filed lawsuits seeking to block the House from enforcing subpoenas, according to CNN. Others suing the committee include Trump election lawyer John Eastman, “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, and Alex Jones, the right-wing media figure.