Former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared before the House Jan. 6 Committee after being subpoenaed.
Flynn was asked to testify about a meeting he had with then-President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. The two allegedly discussed the seizure of voting machines and other topics related to the 2020 presidential election.
In a Nov. 8 letter to Flynn, Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote, “You reportedly attended a December 18, 2020, meeting in the Oval Office during which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud.”
Thompson added that Flynn discussed the same topics during a Newsmax interview the following day.
In a statement following the March 11 meeting, Flynn’s attorney David Warrington said his client did not answer any question and instead exercised his Fifth Amendment right.
“This privilege protects all Americans, not just General Flynn,” Warrington said. “The Committee’s decision to depose General Flynn while these issues are before a court was little more than political theater designed to set up a false narrative based on the Committee’s wrong view of the 5th Amendment.”
Warrington told The New York Times that Flynn invoked the Fifth Amendment because he believes the committee wants the Department of Justice to bring criminal charges against Trump and the people who support him.
Flynn was pardoned by Trump in late 2020 after being charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the agency’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The former Army lieutenant general sued the Jan. 6 committee in December. He argued its subpoena violated his constitutional right against self-incrimination and his right to free speech.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Florida, said “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.”
The argument was similar to those made in lawsuits filed against the committee by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Alex Jones, notes NBC News.
“It contends that the House committee doesn’t have the power to issue subpoenas because it doesn’t have enough Republican members and because it lacks the necessary ‘legislative purpose’ — an argument a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., has already knocked down,” the outlet reported on Dec. 21.
U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven dismissed the lawsuit one day after it was filed after deciding Flynn had failed to prove an imminent need for court intervention. Scriven said the suit could be refiled.