US Judge Rejects Michael Flynn’s Request to Block 6 January Panel’s Subpoenas

© REUTERS / Carlos BarriaNational security adviser General Michael Flynn delivers a statement daily briefing at the White House in Washington U.S., February 1, 2017
National security adviser General Michael Flynn delivers a statement daily briefing at the White House in Washington U.S., February 1, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
A US House select committee is investigating whether former US President Donald Trump and his allies had any role in the storming of the Capitol on 6 January. Back then, legislators had convened to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump and his allies claimed was "stolen" by the Democrats.
Former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has lost his bid in court to block a subpoena for his phone records and demands to testify in front of the House panel probing the storming of the Capitol. The lieutenant general filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, a day after he was scheduled to appear before the committee.

Flynn requested a temporary restraining order, saying the subpoena of his telephone records had "raised significant Constitutional and practical concerns". He also argued that it violated the First Amendment, which among other things protects freedom of speech, as well as his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

"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. 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", Flynn’s lawsuit read.

The former national security adviser also claimed that the 6 January committee is not legally constituted, because it does not have members appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose picks were barred by speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

District Judge Mary Scriven rejected Flynn’s request, saying the former government official did not set forth "specific facts in an affidavit or a verified complaint clearly showing that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to him" if the subpoena is not blocked. The judge also noted that Michael Flynn’s lawyers did not follow the correct process in filing the request by failing to notify the House panel of the lawsuit or explaining why they did not do so.

However, the judge said that the former official could renew his bid if he "believes he can comply with the procedural requirements".

The Storming of the Capitol and the Ongoing Investigation

On 6 January, members of Congress convened to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which former President Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden. However, the Republican refused to concede defeat and claimed that his opponent won because the Democrats had stolen the election. The businessman-turned-politician and his allies charged that voting machines were manipulated to affect the results of the vote, with some officials alleging that foreign nations were involved in the plot.
The ex-president and his supporters also filed over 50 lawsuits in several states demanding recounts of the ballots. Most of them were withdrawn or dismissed due to lack of evidence.

On 6 January, Donald Trump held the so-called "Stop the Steal" rally that was attended by thousands of his supporters. Addressing the crowd, the Republican reiterated claims about the election being stolen. Trump also called on his supporters to "march" on Congress.

"You are the people that built this nation. You have to get your people to fight", the president told his supporters.

A group of demonstrators numbering in the hundreds then headed to the Capitol and stormed the building as legislators were certifying the results of the vote. One police officer and four protesters died and more than a hundred law enforcement officers were injured when the demonstrators forced their way into the building.

Since the incident, questions have been raised as to whether the actions of Donald Trump and his allies played a role in the tragic events.
The Republican himself was impeached for an unprecedented second time on charges of incitement of insurrection. The four-day trial ended with lawmakers voting 57-43 in favour of convicting Trump, but he was acquitted because a two-thirds majority (67 votes) was needed. The president said he bore no responsibility for the deadly riots and dismissed the Democrats' decision to introduce an article of impeachment against him as "ridiculous".

Michael Flynn is the latest ally of Trump to be subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the incident. The panel previously subpoenaed former ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Donald Trump himself. 11 individuals who were ordered to testify and asked to hand over phone records sued the panel, including Donald Trump.

According to local media, the House committee has conducted many successful interviews regarding the pro-Trump rally on 6 January and its high-profile participants.
In a subpoena sent to Michael Flynn last month, the chairman of the panel wrote that the committee wants learn about the 18 December meeting the former national security adviser allegedly attended. Participants at the meeting "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 subpoena read.
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