Flynn in the end knowledgeable the committee on Monday that he would sue in an effort to forestall the panel from implementing its subpoena and holding him in legal contempt.
“[T]right here seemed to be no prospect these points could be resolved absent the intervention of a courtroom, and that Normal Flynn would search the Courtroom’s safety,” Sarelson wrote. “Committee counsel responded that the Committee’s desire could be for Normal Flynn to invoke his fifth Modification privilege earlier than the Committee, even when it was successfully the one factor he might do, and that the Committee might refer Normal Flynn for prosecution for contempt of Congress for not doing so.”
Sarelson additionally indicated that Flynn believes the committee is making ready to subpoena cellphone information “pertaining to Normal Flynn and his household.”
Flynn is a vital goal of the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation. He attended a Dec. 18, 2020, assembly within the Oval Workplace with Trump throughout which Flynn reportedly mentioned deploying the army to grab voting machines in service of Trump’s effort to stave off defeat. That dialog got here amid rising indications that Trump was contemplating invoking the Rebellion Act amid his effort to stay in energy.
Trump in the end opted in opposition to taking that step, however a lot of those that violently attacked the Capitol anticipated he would, and cited this chance as a part of their calculus in collaborating within the riot.
Flynn’s lawsuit is the most recent in a cascade of litigation by targets of the choose committee’s investigation. Former White Home chief of workers Mark Meadows, lawyer John Eastman, lawyer Cleta Mitchell, pro-Trump broadcaster Alex Jones and Cease the Steal organizer Ali Alexander have all just lately filed swimsuit in Washington to stop the choose committee from subpoenaing their testimony or cellphone information. A number of organizers of the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the assault on the Capitol have filed swimsuit in New Jersey to dam the panel from acquiring their cellphone information. And a contract photojournalist, Amy Harris, has sued to dam a subpoena for cellphone information as effectively, contending the panel’s demand might expose sources.
The Home has additionally referred Meadows for legal contempt of Congress, awaiting a possible cost by the Justice Division for his refusal to look for a deposition. And Steve Bannon, one other longtime Trump ally, has been indicted for refusing to look as effectively.
Flynn’s lawsuit echoes lots of the others by claiming that the Jan. 6 committee is illegitimate as a result of it contains no members appointed by Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy, regardless of necessities that the panel seek the advice of with the minority occasion when making choices like issuing subpoenas. McCarthy withdrew all GOP members from the panel after Speaker Nancy Pelosi vetoed the participation of two — Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — an unprecedented step she mentioned mirrored issues about their willingness to conduct a critical investigation.
“[T]he Choose Committee because it presently stands—and stood on the time it issued the subpoenas in query—has no authority to conduct enterprise as a result of it’s not a duly constituted Choose Committee,” Flynn’s attorneys wrote.
Flynn additionally contended that the panel lacks a sound “legislative goal,” although the committee emphasizes that its aim is to provide laws geared toward stopping future assaults in opposition to democracy, reforming election-related legal guidelines and combating home extremism, amongst different objectives. A federal appeals courtroom in Washington just lately upheld the committee’s legislative goal, although Flynn’s swimsuit was filed in a district courtroom outdoors that panel’s jurisdiction.
The previous Trump nationwide safety adviser argued that his Fifth Modification issues come up for 2 causes: the Justice Division’s ongoing investigation into the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and a newly reported investigation into “a political nonprofit with which Normal Flynn was briefly affiliated.” Prosecutors reportedly subpoenaed the nonprofit, Defending the Republic, final month. It’s run by Sidney Powell, a Trump ally who was with Flynn within the Oval Workplace on Dec. 18 and represented him throughout his effort to unravel a responsible plea for mendacity to federal investigators in 2017.
“The Choose Committee is speeding to refer any non-cooperative witnesses for legal prosecution by the Division of Justice for contempt of Congress,” Sarelson wrote. “Thus, Normal Flynn is caught between options that each danger legal prosecution by the Division of Justice, both in an ongoing legal probe, or in a brand new prosecution for contempt of Congress.”